New regreening program: Kenya’s South Rift Valley
The endangered rangelands of the South Rift Valley in Kenya are of great economic, ecological and social importance. That’s why we’re thrilled to tell you we have started restoration activities in this region. It’s part of our new program with SORALO with the aim to sustain both pastoralists communities and wildlife through regreening!
The restoration will take place in cooperation with SORALO (South Rift Association of Land Owners), a community-based land trust which comprises of 25 Maasai communities. SORALO was founded with the vision that by maintaining a healthy and connected landscape the plants, wildlife and people can thrive together!
The South Rift is of great importance for threatened and endangered species such as large mammals and birds. This area hosts more than 700 bird species, thousands of lions and it connects cheetah populations across Southern Kenya and Northern Tanzania. The region further supports a growing elephant population that is close to 500 animals.
The productivity of the SORALO South Rift has been under threat in the recent decades due to various factors. These include climate change, frequent droughts and floods, land degradation, invasive species and loss of biodiversity.
This has resulted in major threats to the integrity of these critical ecosystems that support millions of people who directly derive their livelihoods from the existing natural resources. Within Kenya’s rangelands, close to 70% of the human population is primarily or partly dependent on livestock.
Traditional Maasai knowledge
Luckily, there are solutions! We combine modern technology and data with traditional knowledge and accessible techniques.
This resulted in building our intervention on traditional Maasai knowledge termed “Eramatare”. This pastoral resource management approach encompasses livestock keeping, wildlife conservation and human well-being. To implement this, the project will focus on four pathways of change:
1) Restoring rangeland productivity in valley floors
2) Controlling invasive species
3) Promoting communal land-use practices
4) Encouraging sustainable land-use practices
To raise awareness about our new program and to inspire and activate different stakeholders in the South Rift Valley, we use the available media in this region. This is done via national and regional campaigns with the help of Justdiggits’ media-partners such as Havas Africa.
Long term effects
Of course regreening is the aim of our new project! Other anticipated outcomes include increased land under sustainable management, improved water settlement and flow, improved policy environment and increased land under sustainable community governance. The overall impact of the program is improved and resilient livelihoods, healthy rangelands, biodiversity and an improved and secured micro and meso climate.