Papyrus Conservation around Lake Naivasha: development of alternative management schemes in Kenya.
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AbstractLake Naivasha is a unique freshwater body in Kenya, world famous for its high biodiversity. In particular the wetlands around Lake Naivasha are reputable for the existing papyrus swamp, significant because these species play an important role in the hydrological regime, as habitat for wildlife, and in the local economy of the area. Due to the development pressure behind the lake’s fringe, conflicts between conservation and cultivation purposes occurred. The present situation in relation to papyrus conservation is significantly alarming and the difficulties that exist to reach consensus about the appropriate management of the lake, pose serious threats to the ecosystem. Under the present conditions conservation of its resources does not seem to succeed. During the last years significant initiatives from authorities in charge have been promoted to change the situation. However, current efforts seems neither to be enough nor totally effective to avoid lake resources depletion. This study integrates RS, GIS and MCA methods in the assessment of boundary alternatives. Analysis of economic information from previous studies helped to define criteria and indicators that allow an assessment of current and potential impacts from agricultural activities and proposed alternative boundaries. Potential loss of the net economic return from “influenced areas” was used as indicator to estimate the potential economic impact that may take place and acted as spatial component to compare different proposed riparian limits. Superimposing these limits (overlay) with current land uses allowed eventually coming up with the establishment of matching and influenced areas between both uses. Prioritisation of sites for conservation was done as a first step to introduce a wetland management policy. Sensitivity analysis performed on selection of preferred boundary alternative for RLD, as well as for, the prioritisation of swamp sites for conservation purposes allowed simulation of variations either in the importance weights as well as in criteria effects. Since results did not evidence significant variation, this process contributed through obtaining the most acceptable results for all the parties involved.
Publisher or UniversityThe International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation, Netherlands