Black Panther mytery demystified

HOW A 24-YEAR OLD SAMBURU WARRIOR CAPTURED IMAGES OF KENYA’S BLACK LEOPARD

Letoluai Ambrose, Research Assistant, Sandiego Zoo Global

The story of a black leopard being allegedly seen in Kenya for the first time in 100 years broke out this week – but a young Samburu warrior is really the silent figure behind the discovery.

“The remote camera that I helped set up started capturing images of the black leopard from January 2018. I have many images and videos of the animal,” Letoluai Ambrose, a Research Assistant with Sandiego Zoo Global told me. He seemed perturbed by the interest that the leopard has received from all over the world since last week.

Letoluai, 24, grew up in Koija near Loisaba Conservation. He studied wildlife science at Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute and returned home to support conservation efforts.

He was hired by Sandiego Zoo Global as a research assistant in a project that studied the behaviour of leopards in the Laikipia plateau. Part of this research is finding ways of mitigating the problems that leopard cause within the pastoralist communities.

During his interaction with the community, he heard about the presence of black leopards.

Letoluai Setting up remote cameras

“At first I did not believe what they were telling me since historically we have been hearing such stories from old people,” he said.

At a later date, an elder asked him “Why don’t you capture the big black one in Lorrok area with your cameras?” He also confirmed with the owner of Lorrok ranch about the sighting.

He wrote an email to his boss and fellow scientist, Nicholas Pinfold, about the presence of the black leopard and they agreed to place trap cameras with the hope of capturing images.

The activities of the black leopard started appearing in the cameras and a paper about its presence was published here.

Melanistic Leopard that was captured since Jan 2018 and circulated on social media as the #blackpanther

A pseudo-melanistic leopard has a normal background colour, but the spots are more densely packed than normal and merge to obscure the golden-brown background colour. Any spots on the flanks and limbs that have not merged into the mass of swirls and stripes are unusually small and discrete, rather than forming rosettes. The face and underparts are paler and dappled like those of ordinary spotted leopards.

But the leopard became famous when Letoluai was requested by the owner of Lorrok Ranch to take a British photographer Will Burrad-Lucas to see the leopard. He showed the photographer where to place his remote cameras.

“Will Burrad captured quality images but the media should not state that he found the leopard. He was only here for three days,” Letoluai mused.

Letoluai states that no individual can take credit for research findings because so many people are involved in the activity.

”Were it not for that elder, the local rangers, the landowner and the involvement of scientists from Sandiego Zoo Global, we would not have made this discovery. Everyone had a role and no one person can claim credit,” said Letoluai.

Some sections of the media have claimed that this was the first time that a black leopard has been seen in Kenya in 100 years but to the contrary, the cats have been sighted many times in different parts of Kenya.

Credits: Published by Naloolo Explorers

Author: John Kisimir – jkisai@gmail.com

 

Letoluai Ambrose    Closing remarks: Black leopard sighting has attracted global attention and I believe wildlife conservation in Laikipia, Samburu and Kenya will attract the interest of many. I also believe pastoralist communities which face direct conflicts with this carnivores will be considered for benefit of conservation African leopards.
Conservation of African leopards can only be successful if Local communities will be involved in the process.
About Photographer I will be reluctant to speak about it .” He has the picture and we have the leopard at Laikipia nothing we can complain at all. Let us focus on the conservation of African leopard and understand why melanism on them at this particular area
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Call for Volunteers Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions #gmerl2019

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8 AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12 pm and 2 pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12pm and 2pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8 AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12 pm and 2 pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

Any information needed about the march please email Info@suso.world or vincento@wildlifedirect.org

See you there

“MY PART IN HEALING THIS FRAGILE PLANET” JAGI GAKUNJU

What force drives a man to be successful in business, an intrepid adventurer and a renowned conservationist?

Sit back relaxed, into your comfort zone because am about to narrate a  remarkable story about  Jagi Gakunju, but before we get to that lemme break the ice by a brief introduction.

Jagi Gakunju was born into a pioneering Christian family, his father having been ordained a pastor in 1935. His first memories are of the concentration camp where his family members and other Nyeri residents were interned during the Emergency. After independence, he graduated from the University of Nairobi and joined ALICO, an insurance company. A couple of months later, he unearthed a sophisticated fraud. After training overseas, he had mastered the new computer technology and was sent to train ALICO employees in the Caribbean. Developed to West Africa as the Regional Claims Manager, he was in charge of five countries. Back in Kenya, he left ALICO and joined Africa Air Rescue where his innovative sales strategy saw the company’s turnover grow by leaps and bounds. In 2003, he became the CEO of AAR.

Success in business is only half the story. Jagi has always loved nature. He has climbed Mt. Kenya 14 times and was the founding president of the Uvumbuzi club, an organization devoted to discovering the wild places of Africa. The club’s most famous achievement was in 1989 when Jagi lead members overland to the Okavango Delta in Botswana. A keen ornithologist, Jagi turned the piece of land he inherited from his parents into a nature reserve known as the Wajee Nature Park. About 120 species of birds have been recorded there and the Park has been registered as one of the official Important Bird Areas  (IBA) of the world.

Now retired, Jagi is “busier than ever” devoting his time to the Wjee Park and to many other conservation organizations of which he is a member: Friends of Karura forest, Soysambu Conservancy, Friends of Conservation, Friends of Nairobi National Park, Wildlife Clubs of Kenya, African Fund For Endangered Wildlife, Uvumbuzi, Friends of City Park, Cycling out of Poverty- Coop Kenya, African Network for Animal Welfare, Riverline Nature Reserve Trust, and Wajee Mara Camp.

He begins with the story of his father, a World War II veteran who survived being murdered because of witchcraft. Born in Nyeri in 1948, Gakunju is a child of traditional and modern crossroads during the Mau Mau era, then walks us through his school life in a new environment far from home, the numerous by road on foot adventures to various destinations in Africa which will give you chills and keep you at the edge of your seat.

Living on the Edge brings new personal experiences such as Gakunju’s life in the concentration villages during the State of Emergency. This book is a “Must read” Living on the edge is available at various bookshops including; Textbook centre-Sarit, Hub, Galleria, Yaya, Prestige, Nature Kenya Bookshop and Museums of Kenya.

What really strikes me in this book is his sheer daring attitude for adventure and exploration, His reflections and perceptions are well portrayed in his book I quote ” As regards to my main passion, the environment, the most positive development I have noticed recently is the creation of community conservancies. Unlike in the past when the government looked after wildlife for the benefit of outside tourists, today communities are starting to feel that they “own” the natural resources. In a similar connection. I am happy that many Kenyans are becoming increasingly health-conscious, and that traditional African foods are making a comeback.

Then, of course, there are things which are getting worse. Corruption has become like cancer in our society. In my opinion, those who steal drugs from the poor should be charged with murder. The gap between the rich and the poor also appears to be widening whereas, after independence, we thought that it would diminish.

The number of unemployed youth is truly worrying. Our education system should be training for self-employment but currently, it is geared more towards the regurgitation of information, much of which is in fact quite useless in later life.

Despite the increasing number of Kenyans intermarrying, our leaders carry on propagating negative ethnicity. Instead of creating a nation, we have consolidated tribal empires. During elections, citizens vote for their tribal kings while issues are largely ignored. Due to their lack of vision, our leaders make poor use of the many resources we have. We ought to follow the example of a tiny Singapore, at one time a very poor country, but which has used its only resource, its port, to become many times richer than Kenya.

I believe that each of us should do the little we can to protect the environment. When I inherited Wajee Nature Park from my parents and opted to leave it for the trees and the birds, many of my neighbours thought I was crazy. According to them, I should have used it to grow crops and make money. For me, I felt that creating the Park was the only small contribution that I as an individual could make to safeguard mother earth.

While individuals can play an important part, I also hope that Kenya will in future come up with an overall integrated land policy, something that is missing at present. I feel it is not too late to achieve this.

Getting numerous degrees is all the rage these days but no matter how many you are awarded, one will be missing. That is called travel: travelling with an open mind and interacting with the local people. If you fail to travel, your thinking will be confined to what you have seen in your home area. When you travel, you will see how little you know and how much you have to learn. I had an ambition to go to all the continents and interact with the locals and can now say that I have visited all of them, including Australia. The exception was Antarctica. This travel was one of my best life investments.

When I am at times requested to give motivational talks to the youth, I stress some of the points outlined above. I advise them to invest in hard work, integrity and honesty rather than taking short cuts. I tell them that education is only which is relevant today can be obsolete in five years. They are fortunate that a massive amount of information is available today so there is no excuse for them not to carry on learning. They should invest in several skills since most jobs today require people to multitask. It may not be easy for them to be employed, but the opportunities for self-employment have never been better, thanks to the internet. I am convinced that if a good number of young people take these lessons seriously, our future as a country will be bright.

Passion is the best medicine in succeeding in whatever you are doing. Conservation to me is like a “religion” because I have come to appreciate that human beings, animals, insects, trees and plants and indeed all living things are all interconnected. If one of them becomes extinct because of our reckless use of finite resources in this fragile planet, we shall all become extinct. 80% of all the food we eat is pollinated by insects. Without pollinators, we cannot survive. I have also come to realise that the survival of this fragile planet is in the hands of ‘man’-Human beings, for the first time in this Century. We have the power to destroy or to heal mother earth. If we destroy this planet, there is no plan B”.

If you’ve been inspired, guess what! That’s just in a nutshell of what the book is all about. To order for your own copy of Living on the edge call +254 722 759 515

 

Call for proposals Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme

CALL FOR PROPOSALS
GEF Small Grants Programme

Introduction
The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) implemented by UNDP, awards
grants on a competitive basis for initiatives implemented by civil society organizations, to enable them
implement environmental projects while at the same time support poverty reduction and local
empowerment objectives.
In the current 6th phase of GEF, SGP’s geographic focus is in the production land/sea-scapes of (i) the lower
and middle river basin of Lake Bogoria, (ii) the kaya forests in Kilifi county with World Heritage site status
+ a 5km buffer zone surrounding each one, and (iii) the Shimoni-Vanga seascape of Kwale county.
However, the geographic focus is not limited to the 3 areas mentioned above, but is open to the entire
country, for proposals that promote the use of renewable energy technologies for generating income, or
for strengthening partnerships with the private sector.

SGP seeks proposals from the following categories:

1. Projects implemented within a 5km buffer zone radius of the sacred kaya forests in Kilifi county
to address biodiversity conservation, agro-ecological farming, sustainable land management,
community-based eco-enterprises, and sustainable livelihoods.
2. Projects implemented within lower river basin of Lk Bogoria to support biodiversity conservation,
holistic and sustainable grazing, climate-smart agro-ecology, community-based eco-enterprises,
and sustainable livelihoods.
3. Projects implemented within the Shimoni-Vanga seascape to support biodiversity conservation,
implementation of the Joint Co-management Plan, community-based eco-enterprises, and
sustainable livelihoods.
4. Projects implemented to support uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies
(i) through partnership with private sector and (ii) to increase income generation of local
communities through productive use. These projects are not limited to the geographic focus of
the 3 sites mentioned above.
5. Capacity building of local groups that will include organizational development, governance, financial
management, participatory monitoring, proposal development, use of social media for development
and resource mobilization. Three (3) capacity building grants to be selected; 1 per site.
6. A strategic project that will operate largely at the land/sea-scape level to address an already identified

pertinent issue and work closely with relevant stakeholders including the county
government and private sector

Three strategic projects will be selected; 1 per site.

1. Only proposals from Civil society organizations (CSOs) are awarded funds.
If your organization submitted a proposal in response to the previous Call for Proposals (Sept – Nov 2018), and
has not been notified of a grant award, then consider the application unsuccessful. However, your organization
can re-submit another proposal, but not the same one; a revised version or a completely new proposal will be
acc.
Organizations should select from one of the 6 categories on page 1 and submit one (1) application in response
to this Call.
Background
The GEF Small Grants Programme is a global programme operating in 125 countries that seeks to foster an
enabling environment for addressing global environmental issues and achieving sustainable development
goals. It is managed by a small team in New York, which develops a 4-year strategic framework, to which each
SGP country program aligns its objectives and activities, guided by national priorities. For GEF 6, SGP Kenya is
building on prior experience and lessons of previous phases, to partner with key stakeholders operating at sites
of global importance, to support local initiatives while contributing to national commitments and global
obligations.
SGP is an efficient model for channeling GEF funds to communities, through registered civil society
organizations, for implementation of environmental projects that improve local livelihoods and general wellbeing.

In Kenya, SGP has provided funds to over 400 community-based projects in different parts of the
country. The projects, many of which fall under the GEF focal areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change
mitigation and prevention of land degradation, are selected by a voluntary National Steering Committee (NSC)
comprised of members of civil society, academia, government and donor organizations.
Gender mainstreaming
The Constitution of Kenya 2010 recognizes women as a special group deserving protection. The
Constitution espouses the rights of women as being equal in law to those of men and affirms that
women are entitled to enjoy equal opportunities in the political, social and economic spheres. Despite
the rights-based progressive Constitution that provides a framework for advancing the cause of equality,
according to UN Women, Africa women still face challenges including the ability to participate
effectively in decision making and leadership.
SGP requires that throughout the various stages of the project including conceptualization, planning,
implementation, monitoring and lesson-sharing, gender matters are fully incorporated, to ensure equal
opportunities to participate in, contribute to, and benefit from project resources, activities and results.

Vulnerable groups
Youth groups, groups comprised of persons with disabilities, women groups and groups of indigenous
persons are strongly encouraged to apply.
Grant awards
GEF SGP awards grants only to civil society organizations on a competitive basis. These include national
NGOs, CBOs, development arm of (i) financial institutions and (ii) faith-based organizations. Partnerships
with the private sector, national and county governments, and institutions of higher learning, are highly
encouraged. The following are the grant award levels:
(i)  A maximum of USD 30,000 for Community-based organizations; self-help groups, beach management
units

(ii) A maximum of USD 50,000 for organizations that operate at a regional or national level, such as
NGOs, development arm of faith-based organizations,
(iii) A maximum of USD 100,000 for strategic projects implemented by national organizations.
Co-financing
It is a requirement by GEF that applicants demonstrate co-financing. For SGP funded projects, the
requirement is 1:1. i.e. for every dollar requested from GEF SGP, the applicant should be able to raise an
additional dollar. The applicant should show in the proposal the amount of co-financing it will raise (both
cash and in-kind) during the implementation of the project and indicate the source of the co-financing.
Typology of projects
Below are the 6 categories mentioned and that highlight the types of
projects that will be considered for funding. The outcomes and corresponding types of projects were
identified after extensive consultations with key stakeholders at the respective sites.
Note the following:
1) A grant will be awarded to 3 different national NGOs to operate one at each site, to enhance the
capacity of the SGP-funded grantees. These are marked as follows: **
2) Funds are availed for each site to facilitate the implementation of a strategic project by a national
NGO. This is a project that will enhance partnerships between key stakeholders (county government,
local communities, and private sector) and will operate at the land/sea-scape level to address a key
challenge. These are marked as follows: ***

Shimoni-Vanga seascape
Seascape Outcomes
Type of projects
 Protection and conservation of critical habitats and biodiversity
1. Integrity of habitats and biodiversity
 Improve management of co-management areas within the seascape is enhanced
 Support to relevant county policy development processes through
community consultation and awareness creation
2. Livelihoods of communities living around the seascape are strengthened and diversified
 Improve and diversify incomes of communities
 Enhance community access to climate change economic
opportunities
 Promote CSO-private sector ventures for eco-enterprises

Strategic projects are projects that will be implemented by national NGOs as follows: (i) at one of the 3
production landscapes or seascape, in accordance to the description given in tables below under the sub-title
“Typology of projects” and marked as follows; (ii) projects in the climate change mitigation portfolio that
clearly demonstrate innovative partnerships and high levels of CO2 tons of emission avoided.
 Support information centers that incorporate local and conventional knowledge
– Knowledge management among different players is enhanced and shared
 Capture, document and integrate indigenous knowledge in management of seascape resources
– The capacity of local institutions enhanced
 Training of local CSOs on organizational development, governance, financial management, participatory monitoring, proposal development, use of social media for development and resource mobilization.
 A specific value chain enhanced in which communities are supported to maximize their role and partnerships along the chain strengthened.

-Social and economic benefits optimized from sustainable use of coastal and marine resources

Lake Bogoria Production landscape
Landscape Outcomes
Type of projects
1. Ecosystem and Biodiversity conservation enhanced
 Promote community-based initiatives that improve biodiversity
conservation
 Conservation of endangered/threatened species, including those
targeted for charcoal burning
 Support to relevant county policy development processes through
community consultation and creation awareness

2. Improved sustainable land management practices
 Adoption of agro-ecological principles and practices by local farmers
 Promote improved grazing practices
 Enhance resilience through diversified food production systems
 Rehabilitation of degraded areas
 Control and management of invasive floral species
 Support to Charcoal Producers Associations (CPAs)

3. Eco-friendly enterprises strengthened
 Support to community-driven eco-enterprises through the value chain
approach
 Promote joint partnerships with private sector
 Facilitate development of new products
 Support commercialization and value-addition

4. Conservation of water resources is enhanced
 Support conservation and protection of water catchment areas for
fresh water (River Weseges; Majimoto; Emsos)
 Initiatives to improve water quality and quantity
 Support to WRUAs to effectively deliver on their mandate
 Support efficiency and sustainability in irrigation scheme

 Training of local CSOs on organizational development, governance,
financial management, participatory monitoring, proposal
4. development, use of social media for development and resource mobilization.

5. The capacity of local institutions enhanced6. Social and economic benefits optimized from sustainable use of natural resources in the landscape
 Specific value chains based on natural resources in the landscape e.g prosopis, aloe among others developed
 Communities role and partnerships along the chain strengthened
 Best practices in value chain development of natural resource-based products documented and shared with County government for further support and upscaling
 Policy briefs on government action to support sustainable use of natural resources to economically benefit communities

Production landscape of Sacred Mijikenda Kayas in Kilifi County
Landscape Outcomes
Type of projects
1. Conservation of Kaya Forests, Ecosystem and biodiversity enhanced
 Support restoration of traditional cultural conservation practices and systems
 Support forest restoration through natural regeneration, enrichment planting and other methods
 reduce dependency on Kaya forest resources such as development of alternatives for energy, domestication of medicinal plants, etc

2. Sustainable land management practices adopted.

 Support Farmers to adopt agro-ecological principles and practices
 Support to communities for diversified food production systems (including traditional crops) to enhance resilience
 Documentation of traditional knowledge and practices associated with land management and Natural Resources management.
 Promote climate-smart agricultural practices including improvement of water management, harvesting and storage.
 Build capacity of community groups/institutions on mining legislations, negotiations for benefit sharing and rehabilitation of mined sites

3. The livelihoods options for Mijikenda kaya forest landscape community significantly enhanced/diversified
 Promote partnership with the private sector to enhance financial investments to drive innovation.
 Explore product development and marketing of Non-Wood Forest Products,
 Support women and youth groups on agro-enterprises development
 Training on enterprise development, management and marketing covering production/processing techniques and principles and marketing strategies

4. The capacity of local institutions enhanced

 Training of local CSOs on organizational development, governance,
financial management, participatory monitoring, proposal development, use of social media for development and resource mobilization.
5. The resilience of community enhanced

 A climate-smart agriculture project that will focus on: against adverse impacts of climate change and land
degradation
Introducing and re-introducing orphaned drought-resistant crops, on-farm rainwater harvesting technologies and Integrated Agroforestry practices including (Fruit trees and fast-growing tree species)

Climate Change Mitigation Portfolio Portfolio Outcomes
Type of projects Strengthened partnerships with private sector for increased uptake of renewable energy (RE) or energy efficiency (EE) technologies
 Provide sustainable, affordable alternatives to charcoal and kerosene for cooking for low income urban households e.g. bio-ethanol, carbonized briquettes, pellets, biogas
 Support the establishment of mini/micro-grids and/or policy initiatives that create a more suitable environment for private sector participation in mini/micro-grids. Applicants should demonstrate that community and key stakeholder engagement (e.g. county/local government and Energy Regulatory Commission as applicable) and detailed site assessments have already been undertaken
 Support the distribution and sale of low cost off-grid lighting products (single light or single light with phone charging) in new and challenging markets e.g. remote, un-served households in arid and semi-arid areas

Adoption of renewable energy technologies (RETs) for productive use and increased income generation

 Support the use of solar PV (or other RE based solutions) for on-grid and off-grid water pumping applications for water service provision and agriculture (i.e. irrigation or livestock watering)
 Support the engagement of vulnerable groups; such as persons with disabilities, youth and children-headed households with opportunities to engage in renewable-energy enterprises
 Promote use of RETs for community eco-friendly enterprises, such as eco-tourism, bee-keeping, etc as well as for value addition.

The purpose of the private sector–CSO partnership is to take advantage of the combined but differentiated
strengths and capabilities of both, to expand the number of households that will benefit from low carbon
emission systems. Although the proposal will be submitted by the CSO, it will be jointly developed, and will
highlight the market barriers that the partnership will address. A well thought-out, written and signed
agreement between the CSO and the private sector should accompany the proposal. The proposal should
indicate the number of households targeted and provide an estimate of the metric tons of CO2e that will be
avoided.
Among the key elements to address related to market barriers are:
Awareness and acceptability – providing information to customers that facilitate making
informed purchases e.g. information on economics (e.g. cost saving potential), health
(e.g. reducing indoor air pollution), safety (e.g. reducing risk of fire or burns), quality of
service (e.g. brighter light output, reduced time for preparation of meals) and other
additional non-financial benefits

Access – developing sales and distribution networks and/or expanding into new unserved
or underserved areas
 Affordability – developing and implementing innovative consumer financing models that
target low income households or developing and implementing smart subsidies (proof
must be provided that these subsidies would not result in market distortion and the
market growth can continue after removal of the subsidy)
o After-sale service – provide training to persons who may carry out various levels of
after-sale service, from simple to complicated tasks.

Points to NOTE:

1.  Proposals that request for funding to engage in income generating activities and entrepreneurship,
should take into consideration the value chain approach and demonstrate linkages with relevant
partners.
2.  Every proposal that has a business component (e.g. eco-enterprises and income generating projects)
is expected to develop a simple business plan and submit it together with the proposal.
3. Any organization that has been in operation for less than 2 years is not eligible for funding.
4. Proposals that demonstrate linkages and collaboration to address the same or related issue within
the same landscape (Bogoria or kaya) or seascape (shimoni-vanga) will be at an advantage.
5. Organizations are strongly encouraged to liaise with the SGP competitively-selected strategic
partners, during proposal development, and during implementation. The strategic partner for lake
Bogoria is the Kenya Organic Agricultural Network (KOAN), the partner for kaya forests is the WWF
Kenya and for Shimoni Vanga it is COMRED.

The role of the strategic partners is to coordinate activities at each land/sea-scape to reduce duplication, to
enhance synergy and to support collaboration among key stakeholders. The email address for KOAN is
info@koan.co.ke; the email address for COMRED is sgp.cfp@comred.or.ke and the email address for WWF Kenya
is ekimaru@wwfkenya.org

Grant awards

GEF SGP will award grants on a competitive basis only to local civil society organizations (CSOs), registered and in operation for more than 2 years. The grant award levels  are 3; they range from a maximum of USD 30,000 to a maximum USD 100,000.

Submission of proposals

All proposals must be developed  using  the GEF  SGP  proposal  guidelines  template,  available at

www.sgp.undp.org and should reach the following email  address bids.ke@undp.org with a copy

to salomen@unops.org no later than March 10th  2019. Only 1 application per organization will be accepted. For enquiries and clarifications, send an email to salomen@unops.org

Additional information

Kindly visit the Kenya page under the SGP global website found at www.sgp.undp.org, and check the full contents of the Call for Proposals (CfP) under the Documents folder.

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THE ROLE OF WILDLIFE DISPERSAL CORRIDORS IN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Globally, one of the main biodiversity challenges is the loss of connectivity in wildlife conservation areas mainly due to human-induced factors that exert pressure on land and water resources. Indeed, many protected areas are too small to maintain viable populations of African wildlife. Despite diverse species inhabiting savannas and have for a long time had expansive habitats to utilize, the savanna ecosystem is increasingly under threat from habitat fragmentation and loss of wildlife dispersal areas to agriculture and human settlement.

Land fragmentation represents an obstacle to maintaining ecological connectivity and viable wildlife populations. Reduced landscape connectivity and impeded movements may result in higher mortality, lower population viability and lower production leading to smaller populations. In view of their great mobility and extensive spatial requirements for survival, large mammals are vulnerable to fragmentation effects.

The fragmentation effects result when animals within populations are unable to cross to connecting habitats, access mates or other biological requirements. These effects have underscored the need to maintain and restore essential movements of wildlife species particularly those with high traffic volumes, it is for this reason that wildlife corridors are constructed.

 

CORRIDORS/FENCE GAPS AND USE OF CAMERA TRAPS FOR MONITORING AT OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY

Infrared cameras used at the fence gaps to monitor wildlife traffic in and out of the conservancy coloured pictures taken during the daytime while black and white at night

A wildlife corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures such as roads development or logging. This allows an exchange of individuals between population, which may help prevent the negative effect of inbreeding and may moderate some of the worst effects of habitat fragmentation.

Elephants Entering OL Pejeta from Mutara using the corridor

 The OL Pejeta Conservancy has well-modified wildlife corridors/ fence gaps classified according to their width indirectly proportional to size and number of animals using it. All animals are free to more in and out of the conservancy by way of specially constructed game corridors that only restrict the movement of rhinos knee high post in the ground, situated very close together present no challenge for elephant rates, antelope and carnivores that are easily able to jump or step over. Rhinos are unable to do this and as a result, are restricted from moving into areas where they are in danger of being slaughtered for their horn it also operates a successful livestock program which serves to benefits local pastoralist and wildlife. 

 The OlPejeta conservancy have got three constructed corridor  located on the Northern part of the conservancy with the reason being that to the Southern part of it there is small scale farming taking place by the local communities inhibited the area, the northern corridors enable dispersal of wildlife to the greater Laikipia ecosystem thus increasing their probability of survival and range while at the same time reducing pressure on the conservancy.

Connectivity is essential between adjacent conservation areas

 Advantages of the corridors

  •   They  allow the wild animals to have the freedom of movement in and out the other protected areas such as Mt. Kenya National Park, Mutara ranch, Solio ranch
  • They help prevent inbreeding of animal in order to acquire strong genes from other species of animals away from the protected area
  •    Helps the conservancy to acquire species of animal that they don’t have on  their records of wild animal species of OlPejeta through the aid of the camera traps
  •     Help elephants from breaking the fence thus promoting good wildlife management techniques

         Help in developing the checklist of wild animals within the protected area this is done through monitoring the footprints of the wild animals in the process of animals moving in and out of the protected area and through the images captured by the cameras which operate even at night.

    

            Although game corridor has numerous advantages there are still some challenges in line with the management such as:

  • Competition for natural resources such as food, space, cover and water 
  • Disease reservoir for livestock example zoonosis  transmission of disease can be from livestock to   wild animal 
  • Livestock predation example is lion predating against cow  

           

Connectivity within adjacent conservation areas is inevitable, fence gaps are the best alternatives

           Way forward 

 Wildlife corridors are not proposed as mitigation for loss of core habitat.  However, with careful planning and design, wildlife corridors can help reduce the negative effects of habitat fragmentation by allowing dispersal of individuals between large patches of remaining habitat.  While additional study on the efficacy of wildlife corridors is necessary, some general principles of evaluation and design are available and should be implemented.  Monitoring the use of corridors by target wildlife species is an important step in corridor planning, to allow for adaptive management. 

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LION TRACKING (STALKING LIONS FOR CONSERVATION) OL PEJETA DIARIES

The African lion, an iconic symbol of strength, is one of the latest additions to the growing list of animals threatened with extinction. The first time you see one up close there’s this thrilling feeling that you get “I can’t be the only one who gets it” its fear, it’s exciting but most of it fun.


The love and affection that Kenyans have for this magnificent species was best portrayed after the controversial shooting of the stray lion “Mohawk” from the Nairobi National Park some years back, but the plight of this species has reached an alarming rate and thus needs to be acted upon by relevant bodies be it the Kenya Wildlife Service or Non governmental Organizations that play a crucial role in the immense research and monitoring of the species the dynamics revolving around their declining numbers and solving their conflicts with livestock herders in terms of compensations to avoid them being killed in retaliation.


Lion numbers have been quickly declining in East and West Africa, forcing the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) to classify the “king of the jungle” as Vulnerable on its updated Red List of Threatened Species. decline in lion population is attributed to factors e.g. habitat loss, diseases and human-wildlife conflict. A rapid decline has been recorded in East Africa a stronghold for lions mainly due to human-lion conflict. This includes poaching and retaliatory killing.
Statistics reveal that the national population of lions in Kenya is reduced by an average of 100 lions each year! To come up with solutions aimed at mitigating the human-lion conflict, conservationists monitor lion movements through collars.

Radio Telemetry on Lions and Pride ID


Radio collars assist the Ecological Monitoring Department to obtain data on predator-prey interactions, population status and structure, movement patterns and social organization. Through the use of collars, prey mortality caused by predators can be analyzed to show their impacts on prey species. Too many lions, for example, can be a problem because high prey off-takes can lead to a serious decline of endangered and other species of concern to the Ol Pejeta Conservancy, including Jackson’s hartebeest, Grevy’s zebra, black rhinos, Beisa Oryx and ostriches. Without collars, the same data can be collected but collars allow closer monitoring on a more regular basis.

Currently, several prides of the conservancy’s lions are equipped with GPS radio collars, which are linked to GSM (Global System for Mobile communication technology) tracking devices. The collars allow for the development of home range maps and offer a greater understanding of the habits and movements of this species (only a female lion is collared because they stick to the pride). They also allow the conservancy staff to maintain the balance of wildlife on the conservancy by observing the impact of the lion upon such prey species as hartebeest, whose population had fallen by 50% over the last ten years, largely as a result of lion activity. This information is also useful in other research activities such as “kill search” that use the GPS fixes from the collard prides to locate the potential kills.
Lions from an ecological perspective are crucial for a balanced and resilient system. Therefore monitoring lions is crucial to understand their movement and general predator-prey interaction, the main purposes for the activity are; to monitor the movement and build up a photographic means of identifying lions for further research, Monitor individual pride to understand their morphological features, Monitor prides to understand their habitat utilization and home ranges and to Identify lion prey composition

YOU CAN ALSO TAKE PART IN LION TRACKING
To help sensitize the importance of lion tracking visitors to the conservancy can take part in a two hour lion tracking at a cost of only 40 USD for two hours you will be picked from the gate, or from your accommodation facility if you are already at the conservancy by the conservancy’s highly trained and skilled lion trackers  modern  land cruisers with high chances of spotting lions 80% chance, this will give you adequate access to the lion pride you will be tracking and in a nutshell this is what you will be engaged in Starting by feeding\ coding lion frequency into radio telemetry receiver (each collared lioness has a different collar frequency number same as our different phone sim number), drive along lion’s home ranges and wait for beep signal (Beep…Beep… beep). Once there is a beep signal, the radio telemetry receiver is connected to a hand-held two-way antenna which gives the specific direction of the lion being tracked the closer you get to the lion the higher the beep. On sighting a pride, GPS data is first downloaded at a distance where the lions feel safe.
Thereafter you will help collect the following attributes which will be recorded; Date, Time, Pride ID, Location, Type of Habitat, Vehicle GPS Point (UTM Zone 37N, WGS 1984), Photo number to be identified later, Total number of individuals, Number of different individuals of similar sex and age, Activity, (If on a kill, the species of the prey) and (If on a kill, the approximate age of the kill in days)
This information will be recorded in shorthand in the field, later it will be collated into a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet, the names of the individual lions will be also added once they had been identified from their photographs. The different group’s movements and ranges around the Conservancy will be mapped using Arc Map 10.2

Individual Identification of Lions Using Whisker Spot Pattern
Identification based on individual variation in the pattern of spots marking the position of the vibrissae between the upper lip and the nose.

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ANNUAL NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETITION 2019

Every year, from the 1st of January to the 31st of March AFEW  Giraffe Center normally has an environmental competition. This year is no exception, are you a student with a passion for environmental conservation? or better yet have a sibling or know of or a young individual whose talented in drawing? or a school teacher? Well, the annual national environmental competition 2019 is calling for participants, and if you know of anyone in the cader or if you are eligible then don’t hesitate here is your opportunity to portray your talent and get awarded for it.

  This is an environmental competition hosted by AFEW Giraffe Centre. Its aim is to encourage Kenyan students to get involved in environmental conservation through Art and essay writing. The winners of the competition are awarded gifts and the best of the best get to go on a one-week safari around different conservancies and national parks around Kenya, free of charge.

The poster above elaborates more about all you need to know about the competition, there’s something for everyone. Get started, circulate the poster to the schools around you or better yet share it with the students and teachers you know and for the tertiary level students, here is your opportunity to make your best of your writing skills “personally this is where my writing skills came to play” so make the best out of your talents, bring in your creativity and zeal for conservation.

The top prize of a one week adventure on a fully sponsored safari for the trophy winners to some of the best touristic destinations in Kenya should not just pass you, dare to take part. https://www.giraffecentre.org/