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  • 7/27/2019 Case Studies UNDP: KIPSAINA CRANES AND WETLANDS CONSERVATION GROUP, Kenya

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    Equator Initiative Case StudiesLocal sustainable development solutions for people, nature, and resilient communities

    Kenya

    KIPSAINA CRANE ANDWETLANDS CONSERVATIONGROUP

    Empowered live

    Resilient nation

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    UNDP EQUATOR INITIATIVE CASE STUDY SERIES

    Local and indigenous communities across the world are advancing innovative sustainable development solutions that wo

    or people and or nature. Few publications or case studies tell the ull story o how such initiatives evolve, the breadth

    their impacts, or how they change over time. Fewer still have undertaken to tell these stories with community practition

    themselves guiding the narrative.

    To mark its 10-year anniversary, the Equator Initiative aims to ll this gap. The ollowing case study is one in a growing ser

    that details the work o Equator Prize winners vetted and peer-reviewed best practices in community-based environmenconservation and sustainable livelihoods. These cases are intended to inspire the policy dialogue needed to take local succ

    to scale, to improve the global knowledge base on local environment and development solutions, and to serve as models

    replication. Case studies are best viewed and understood with reerence to The Power of Local Action: Lessons from 10 Years

    the Equator Prize, a compendium o lessons learned and policy guidance that draws rom the case material.

    Click on the map to visit the Equator Initiatives searchable case study database.

    EditorsEditor-in-Chief: Joseph Corcoran

    Managing Editor: Oliver HughesContributing Editors: Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Erin Lewis, Whitney Wilding

    Contributing WritersEdayatu Abieodun Lamptey, Erin Atwell, Toni Blackman, Jonathan Clay, Joseph Corcoran, Larissa Currado, Sarah Gordon, Oliver Hughe

    Wen-Juan Jiang, Sonal Kanabar, Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Rachael Lader, Patrick Lee, Erin Lewis, Jona Liebl, Mengning Ma,

    Mary McGraw, Gabriele Orlandi, Juliana Quaresma, Peter Schecter, Martin Sommerschuh, Whitney Wilding, Luna Wu

    DesignOliver Hughes, Dearbhla Keegan, Matthew Konsa, Amy Korngiebel, Kimberly Koserowski, Erin Lewis, John Mulqueen, Lorena de la Pa

    Brandon Payne, Mariajos Satizbal G.

    AcknowledgementsThe Equator Initiative acknowledges with gratitude the Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands Conservation Group, and in particular the guida

    and inputs o Maurice Wanjala. All photo credits courtesy o Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands Conservation Group. Maps courtesy o C

    World Factbook and Wikipedia.

    Suggested CitationUnited Nations Development Programme. 2012. Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands Conservation Group, Kenya. Equator Initiative Case Stu

    Series. New York, NY.

    http://www.equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/Power_of_Local_Action_Final_2013.pdfhttp://www.equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/Power_of_Local_Action_Final_2013.pdfhttp://www.equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/Power_of_Local_Action_Final_2013.pdfhttp://equatorinitiative.org/index.php?option=com_winners&view=casestudysearch&Itemid=858http://www.equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/Power_of_Local_Action_Final_2013.pdfhttp://www.equatorinitiative.org/images/stories/Power_of_Local_Action_Final_2013.pdf
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    PROJECT SUMMARY

    This community-based organization has worked since 1990

    to conserve wetlands and biodiversity in and around Saiwa

    Swamp National Park, home to approximately 25 per cent o

    Kenyas vulnerable Grey Crowned Crane population. During

    the 1980s eucalyptus cultivation resulted in drainage o the

    swamp and damage to habitats.

    The catalyst or reversing these trends came rom a leader

    o the local Catholic parish, who mobilized community

    members to conserve a ve-kilometer stretch o swamp

    actively abandoning smallholder plots within the area andvoluntarily planting a range o native tree species, including

    acacia varieties, around its border. This has allowed the

    wetlands to regenerate, and enabled the maintenance o a

    healthy crane population - the most recent count within the

    Kipsaina wetlands, in December 2009, ound 35 individuals.

    KEY FACTS

    EQUATOR PRIZE WINNER: 2006

    FOUNDED: 1990

    LOCATION: Western edge of Great Rift Valley, Kenya

    BENEFICIARIES: Kipsaina and other surrounding villages

    BIODIVERSITY: Saiwa Swamp National Park

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    KIPSAINA CRANE AND WETLANDSCONSERVATION GROUPKenya

    TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Background and Context 4

    Key Activities and Innovations 5

    Biodiversity Impacts 7

    Socioeconomic Impacts 7

    Policy Impacts 8

    Sustainability 9

    Replication 9

    Partners 9

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    Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands Conservation Group began its

    work in 1990, and was ocially registered as a community-based

    rganization in 1991. The group works in conserving wetlands and

    heir biodiversity in and around Saiwa Swamp National Park, Western

    Kenya. The swamp is located in the Trans Nzoia plateau lands,

    etween Mount Elgon and the Cherangani Hills, along the western

    dge o the Great Rit Valley. The many rivers o the region eventually

    make their way through the basin to Lake Victoria, and two o these,

    aiwa and Kipsaina, orm a riverine orest and swamp area to the

    orth o the town o Kitale. Ocially gazetted in 1974, Saiwa Swamp

    ow orms Kenyas smallest national park. From 1991 until 2003,

    he ocus o Kipsaina Cranes and Wetlands Conservation Group was

    n Saiwa; since then, attention has shited to the ve kilometres owamp upstream rom the park, around Kipsaina village itsel.

    Protecting Kenyas smallest national park

    he group began in response to human pressures on the Saiwa

    nd Kipsaina ecosystems. The national park and its wildlie were

    hreatened by activities in and around the wetlands including

    and-harvesting, wetland drainage, over-grazing, wildlie poisoning

    rom the use o articial ertilizers, and illegal harvesting o water

    nd rewood rom the protected area. The Kipsaina river area was

    ntirely cultivated, reducing the river to a stream, and wildlie had

    isappeared rom the wetlands.

    Kipsaina Conservation Group was ormed with the objective o

    asing the pressure on this ragile ecosystem by making the swamp

    community-conserved area. Much o the initial work in persuading

    ommunity members to rerain rom cultivation o the wetlands

    rea was undertaken by a key gure in the local Catholic parish, who

    onvinced Kipsaina residents to conserve the swamp area on the

    rounds o its inherent natural value.

    The prime objective was to rehabilitate the badly degraded a

    in and around the swamp through tree-planting, while o

    objectives aimed at compensating communities or the ser

    they had typically obtained rom the wetlands area. This inclu

    providing alternative, clean sources o water; odder or c

    instead o grazing within the wetlands; and income-genera

    activities besides cultivation. Kipsaina promoted environment

    riendly practices such as sh-arming, agroorestry, bee-kee

    poultry and rabbit keeping, and the sale o curios and tour-gu

    or ecotourism. Through the adoption o these alternative livelih

    activities the group has been able to successully rehabilitate

    wetlands and improve local wellbeing.

    The chie biodiversity impact has been the return o severa

    wildlie species to the wetlands, including the rare Sitatunga ante

    and a large population o Grey Crowned Cranes. Much o Kipsa

    work has been supported by the International Crane Founda

    and the area has been the subject o television documentarie

    the BBC and the Arican Wildlie Foundation, among others.

    international recognition has made the group a model within K

    or community-based approaches to conservation.

    Background and Context

    The region was affected by thedroughts throughout Southern Kenya i

    2008-2009. In Kipsaina, we were ableto construct simple irrigation ditchesthrough the wetlands, which benefitted

    local cultivation.

    Maurice Wanjala, Kipsaina Crane and Wetlands

    Conservation Group

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    Key Activities and Innovations

    he conservation model employed by Kipsaina has been that o a

    ommunity-conserved area, protecting the wetlands area upland

    rom Saiwa Swamp National Park. This has involved extensive

    ommunity participation, as the wetlands area had previously been

    ntirely used or cultivation, grazing, and as a source o water, and

    he surrounding orests or rewood and timber. In order to halt this

    practice o human encroachment and reverse the environmental

    arm done, the Kipsaina Conservation Group has had to change

    behaviours and attitudes towards conservation, promote schemes

    o preserve the conserved area, and provide realistic alternatives

    or the services provided by the Kipsaina ecosystem. The rst part

    o this was achieved through the engagement o a local church

    ommunity; conservation o the wetlands area was conceived os part o a holistic approach to ownership and stewardship o the

    ommunitys land. This has been vital or the initiatives durability

    nd susta

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