Applying ecohydrological principles to catchment management provides an opportunity for two distinct, but complementary strategies: a basis for the interpretation of ecosystem health and a guide for the selection of ecohydrological tools for catchment management. The latter include a number of biotechnologies that can support the sustainability of key ecosystem services effectively.Lake Naivasha has been an economic development hub of Kenya since pre-colonial times. Now it is dominated by geothermal power production, horticulture and floriculture, hotel and hospitality, small and medium enterprises around the lake, together with intensive smallholder cultivations and pasture in the catchment. Natural resources in the basin have continually attracted diverse local and foreign investments. Advancement in technologies, together with a rapid rise in human population, have exacerbated pressure upon the basin's natural capital. Conflicts between interest groups have often erupted due to fluctuations in water availability and limitations of access to private land. Flower growers, pastoralists, fisher-folk, hoteliers, upper catchment and lower catchment communities often accuse one another of engaging in malpractices over resource use.These conflicts have more recently resulted in partnerships in resource management however, which have helped in the implementation of research-informed mitigation measures. The most important is the formation of an "umbrella" organisation, Imarisha Naivasha, a quasi-government body set up to catalyse sustainability moves. It sought to achieve this with a Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP; 2012-17) and, with funding mainly from the Dutch government, an Integrated Water Resource Allocation Plan (IWRAP), for catchment-wide use of surface and ground waters. On smaller scales, successful case studies have demonstrated practical ways forward - a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programme in one sub-catchment has reduced upper catchment erosion; restoration of small dams in another has provided more reliable and cleaner rural water, flood retention and enhanced biodiversity; around the lake, promotion of artificial wetlands that now treat effluent waters from about half the horticultural enterprises.Recently, proposed new "mega-projects" by both the National, and the Nakuru County governments have brought uncertainty upon the future state of the lake and its catchment. Plans to develop an industrial park and an inland container port for the new Kenyan Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Naivasha, together with the proposal to develop and market Naivasha further as an ecotourism and conferencing destination, have enhanced speculation on investment opportunities and demographic trends, attracting new investors and jobseekers.Within the framework of ecohydrology, we summarise proposed developments and the management challenges they pose and provide examples of ecohydrological tools recommended to contain the negative impacts on fundamental ecosystem processes. We review the probability of the successful application of such tools.

Ecohydrological tools for the preservation and enhancement of ecosystem services in the Naivasha Basin, Kenya

Pacini, Nic
2018

Abstract

Applying ecohydrological principles to catchment management provides an opportunity for two distinct, but complementary strategies: a basis for the interpretation of ecosystem health and a guide for the selection of ecohydrological tools for catchment management. The latter include a number of biotechnologies that can support the sustainability of key ecosystem services effectively.Lake Naivasha has been an economic development hub of Kenya since pre-colonial times. Now it is dominated by geothermal power production, horticulture and floriculture, hotel and hospitality, small and medium enterprises around the lake, together with intensive smallholder cultivations and pasture in the catchment. Natural resources in the basin have continually attracted diverse local and foreign investments. Advancement in technologies, together with a rapid rise in human population, have exacerbated pressure upon the basin's natural capital. Conflicts between interest groups have often erupted due to fluctuations in water availability and limitations of access to private land. Flower growers, pastoralists, fisher-folk, hoteliers, upper catchment and lower catchment communities often accuse one another of engaging in malpractices over resource use.These conflicts have more recently resulted in partnerships in resource management however, which have helped in the implementation of research-informed mitigation measures. The most important is the formation of an "umbrella" organisation, Imarisha Naivasha, a quasi-government body set up to catalyse sustainability moves. It sought to achieve this with a Sustainable Development Action Plan (SDAP; 2012-17) and, with funding mainly from the Dutch government, an Integrated Water Resource Allocation Plan (IWRAP), for catchment-wide use of surface and ground waters. On smaller scales, successful case studies have demonstrated practical ways forward - a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) programme in one sub-catchment has reduced upper catchment erosion; restoration of small dams in another has provided more reliable and cleaner rural water, flood retention and enhanced biodiversity; around the lake, promotion of artificial wetlands that now treat effluent waters from about half the horticultural enterprises.Recently, proposed new "mega-projects" by both the National, and the Nakuru County governments have brought uncertainty upon the future state of the lake and its catchment. Plans to develop an industrial park and an inland container port for the new Kenyan Standard Gauge Railway from Mombasa to Naivasha, together with the proposal to develop and market Naivasha further as an ecotourism and conferencing destination, have enhanced speculation on investment opportunities and demographic trends, attracting new investors and jobseekers.Within the framework of ecohydrology, we summarise proposed developments and the management challenges they pose and provide examples of ecohydrological tools recommended to contain the negative impacts on fundamental ecosystem processes. We review the probability of the successful application of such tools.
Citizen science; Conflict resolution; Ecohydrology; Partnership; Proactive mitigation; Sustainability; Aquatic Science
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11770/278299
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 13
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 12
social impact