COUNTY CONSULTATIONS ON ENVIRONMENTAL CONCERNS INTRODUCTION TO OUR DEPENDENCY ON THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

The overarching goal of Vision 2030 is to transform Kenya into a newly industrializing, middleincome country providing a high quality of life to all its citizens by 2030 in a clean and secure environment. The Vision is anchored on three key pillars: economic, social and political governance. These pillars are established within and dependent upon a larger envelope, the natural environment. The Constitution, therefore, provides for ‘sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources’. In addition, recognizing the importance of a healthy land cover to reduce Kenya’s vulnerability to climate change, water stress and loss of biodiversity, the Constitution sets a specific target of a minimum of 10 percent of tree cover. Furthermore, concerned with human health and wellbeing, the Constitution guarantees a healthy and protected environment as a right of all citizens in present and future generations. This document was drafted by an independent voluntary Environmental Advisory Team to Vision 2030 in November 2012 on realization that Vision 2030 captured Environment as a minor concern under the social sector and not as a foundational concern that underpins all sectors and pillars of Kenya’s growth and development. Vision 2030 also embraces Kenya’s international commitments to sustainable development. These commitments were reiterated at the RIO+20 Conference in June 2012. In the Conference outcome document “The Future We Want”, the dependency of the well-being of our societies on the quality of the environment is fully recognized. Investing in the “natural infrastructure” is highlighted as an effective approach to address the most pressing issues on the global agenda, including climate change, water scarcity, loss of biodiversity and food insecurity. To achieve the objectives of Vision 2030, it is essential to ensure the sustainability of the programmes and projects in the MTPs. As first and critical step, we must fully recognize the dependence of our economic development and human well-being on the quality of the environment. Our “natural infrastructure” has enabled Kenya to develop the way it is today and will continue support our society and its future development. More specifically at the programme and project level, we must clearly identify how these programme and projects depend upon our “natural infrastructure”, in particular the ecological services provided by our natural environment. These ecological services include regulation of water flows in the rivers, flood mitigation, improved water quality, regulation of micro-climatic conditions that are

supporting crop production, soil conservation, reduced vulnerability to climatic variation. Over the past decades, ecological services which are vital to sustain past and future economic development have been taken for granted, leading to developments that have undermined and degraded the very resources and environmental services on which they rely. Our recommendation is that during county consultations all stakeholders consider the environmental dependencies by asking the following questions.

How do the above priority areas depend on the natural environment? Can you identify the specific linkages/dependencies and quantify them? What is the status of our natural environment and its management? What must be done to improve our natural environment and its management in the county?

To answer these questions we provide some guidance below EXAMPLES OF DEPENDENCIES ON THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT Example 1 : Tourism and wildlife resources Tourism is Kenya's largest foreign exchange earning sector, followed by flowers, tea, and coffee. In 2007 tourism generated Kes 65.4 billion, up from Kes 21.5 billion in 2002. The highest number of tourists’ arrivals on record was 1,095,945 tourists in 2010, 15% more than in 2009. The sector employs 150,000 people many in rural areas and is increasing at 3% annually. Tourism also impacts positively on other sectors as it is a major source of government taxes and supports many other industries including hotels, transport, and food production. Tourism is a low cost industry as it is non consumptive making it very attractive for investment. For all these reasons, Vision 2030 recognizes tourism as a major contributor to the economic pillar, and seeks to achieve significant growth in the tourism sector by become one of the top10 long haul tourist destinations in the world by offering a high-end diverse and distinctive visitor experience. By virtue of the attractions that bring visitors to Kenya, tourism is highly dependent on the natural infrastructure of Kenya. But Kenya’s spectacular wildlife, wilderness, spectacular scenery, vast spaces, pristine beaches, coral reefs, beautiful tribes, good climate, and dramatic scenery from deserts to tropical rain forests are all threatened by the impact of the industry its

self, poor planning, poaching and climate change. Scientific studies of wildlife populations and trends conclude that many wildlife populations are declining significantly including most large mammals such as lions, rhino and even the great wildebeest migration The success of developing tourism potential in Kenya will therefore depend on our ability to sustain and improve the natural products and services that attract tourists, and eliminate threats. Since 75% of Kenya’s wildlife is outside of the protected area network, the industry depends on the goodwill of private and community land owners to protect wildlife habitats. Example 2 : Importance of woodfuel for domestic and industrial purposes, and dependence on natural wood availability One of the most direct relationships between nature and development is the dependence on fuel wood for domestic and commercial purposes. Forest derived woodfuels and biomass energy compromises over 70% of all of Kenya’s thermal energy needs and is a leading foreign exchange saver. In tea and tobacco factories, firewood replaces heavy fuel oil for drying. The cost of processing 1 kilogram of tea using heavy fuel oil is 8.00Ksh, vs 3.50Ksh when processed with fuel wood. In livestock rearing industries such as Farmers Choice and Kenchic, charcoal is the prime source of heating energy for the animals. The Uplands/Lari Farmers Choice Unit uses approximately 7 tons annually. More than 80% of people living in urban areas use charcoal as their main source of domestic energy. Nairobi alone consumes 400tonnes of charcoal per day. Virtually all large institutions, schools, hospitals and prisons in Kenya use firewood and charcoal for cooking and water heating. The production of charcoal and fuel wood depends on resources that are naturally self sustaining. However, poor management and over exploitation destroys the natural capital and results in the collapse of productivity, and degradation of land and soil erosion, with consequences to other industries including agriculture and tourism. In 1975 a ban on charcoal exportation was imposed leading to loss of livelihoods, revenue and jobs. Despite this, the use charcoal continues to increase by 6.7% annually, and the charcoal making industry employs over 40,000 full-time and itinerant or intermittent charcoal-makers who are also served by transporters who ferry the charcoal daily to urban centers. Prior to 1975, charcoal earned foreign exchange for Kenya. Forestry Department records indicate that a total of 36,2693tonnes worth KSh 240 million were exported between 1970 and 1974. Sustainable management of natural and human planted wood lots for energy production and use of other biofuels such as biogas for domestic and commercial purposes will be key to the successful implementation of MTP2. Example 3. Dependence of water for consumption, agriculture and hydro energy production on water towers

Kenya’s “water towers” are prime mountain forest ecosystems. These forests are the lifeline of the Nation. They are the upper catchments of all main rivers that support the country’s key economic sectors, including energy, agriculture, livestock, tourism and water. The water towers provide water to most urban centres and rural areas, to many irrigation schemes, and to all installed hydro-power plants that represent 57 % of Kenya’s total installed electricity capacity (see Figure 1). These montane forests are also surrounded by the most densely populated areas of Kenya, because they cause micro-climate conditions favorable for crop production and ensure permanent river flow during the dry seasons. The rivers flowing from these catchments are the lifeline of many conservation areas that support the tourism industry. Many of these rivers are transboundary waters, underlining the regional and international importance of Kenya water towers. These montane forests are rich in biological diversity, not only in terms of habitats, but also in terms of species. Although closed-canopy forests cover only 1.7 % of Kenya total land area, these forests host a disproportionally high percentage of the flora and fauna species (40 % of the mammal species, including 70 % of the threatened mammal species, and 30 % of the bird species, including 50 % of the threatened bird species). Montane forests provide other vital ecological services to the country, including climate regulation, water storage, recharge of groundwater; river flow regulation; flood mitigation; control of soil erosion and reduced siltation of water bodies; water purification; conservation of biological diversity; carbon storage and sequestration. The water towers and their forest ecosystems are fully recognized as a key component of the economic, environmental and social pillars. In recognition of their importance in socioeconomic development, the rehabilitation of the five water towers is one of the flagship projects in the Vision 2030. Recent valuations conducted in the Mau Forests Complex and the Aberdares Range highlight the substantial benefits that the country derived annually from the water towers.

Figure 1: Importance of the five main waters towers as upper catchments of Kenya main rivers and for hydro-power generation

Example 4: Dependence of agriculture on insects for pollination “One in three bites of food can be attributed to a pollinator” therefore pollinator conservation and management in Kenya could improve agricultural productivity. An overlooked free ecosystem service, pollination, is essential to humanity. In Kenya pollinators are primarily wild insects including hundreds of bee and beetle species that travel between farms and natural habitat, and are extremely vulnerable to habitat loss and destruction. The destruction of natural habitats is leading to a catastrophic decline of biodiversity and is destroying the intricate connections between nature and human life and livelihoods. Pollinator species are just one of the many interactions that underpin our livelihoods. Achieving food security for Kenya’s growing human population, will require protecting the diverse habitats on which pollinators depend. Threats to pollinators include habitat destruction and escalating use of pesticides to increase area under production and to intensify production through modern farming techniques. Surveys conducted by Nature Kenya, Pest Control Products Board, Kenya Agricultural Research Institute and National Museums of Kenya examined farmer behavior across Kenya in 2011-2012 to quantify negative effects of pesticides on pollinators when pesticides are sprayed (Q1) and whether farmers avoid spraying bees when applying pesticides?

RESULTS FOR FARMERS GROWING FRENCH BEANS (Data from Athi River):

(1) Observed Negative Effects

(2) Avoided Spraying bees?

The survey results show that many farmers observe negative effects of pesticide spraying on pollinators, but do not avoid spraying them. Farmers are therefore directly responsible for killing pollinators – the useful species on which they depend on for free services necessary for seed and fruit production. This negative cycle threatens agricultural production and occurs because many Kenyan farmers lack awareness about the importance of pollinators and do not understand how the use of pesticide threatens good insects. Education levels of subsistence farmers, access to information, weak implementation of agricultural policy and poor enforcement of regulations all threaten pollinators and biodiversity in farmed landscapes. The protection of pollinators and other aspects of biodiversity is critical for agricultural production in Kenya because most indigenous crops and many commercial crops are dependent on pollinators including coffee, and all vegetables grown from seed, traditional vegetables, many fruits (mango, papaya, passionfruit, watermelon). There is pressing need to focus agricultural growth and expansion on both intensive and sustainable methods so as to advance food and nutritional security. Management and conservation of habitats that pollinators depend on is an essential component for meeting Vision 2030’s goals for food security.

To contact the Environmental Advisory Team to Vision 2030 please email the Chairperson, Paula Kahumbu paula@wildlifedirect.org