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Forward from Prof. Judi W. Wakhungu Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Kenya:


The plant, animal, microorganism species and ecosystems that constitute biological diversity also referred to as biodiversity are an important source of goods and services that are essential to human beings. Kenya has a large complement of biological diversity of immense value. These resources and services are used, valued and protected in a variety of ways by different institutions and communities in our country. The interaction between communities and biological diversity whether through direct exploitation of species or other indirect ways such as fragmentation of habitats through infrastructural development, has impacts on the status of the resources. Despite the immense contribution of biological diversity to human well being, often human actions threaten the same resources with destruction and extinction.

Cases of overexploitation, habitat conversion among others remain a major threat to the sustenance of biological biodiversity. Mostly, the causes of loss of biological diversity arise as secondary consequences of activities within various economic sectors, such as urban development, transportation, energy, water supply, forestry, tourism, fisheries, mining, and agriculture among others. This is particularly so, for those activities that focus on short term bene ts rather than long term sustainability.

The compilation of Kenya’s natural capital that has led to the production of the Atlas of our Biological Diversity is an attempt to present in a visual form the current extent, status, threats, trends, interventions and potential sustainable use opportunities of our biological diversity. Efforts have been made to collate the available data and information of the country’s biological diversity and present it in form of maps, photos and diagrams that are easy to understand.

It is my expectation that the Atlas will re-invigorate stakeholders to act on the knowledge, institutional, policy, technological and economic development challenges highlighted in the Atlas. In the same vein, I encourage all of us to take up the opportunities for sustainable use and economic activities highlighted in the Atlas. I invite development partners, private sector, academia, researchers and all relevant stakeholders to increase their efforts and contribution towards achievement of conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, while improving the wellbeing of Kenyans through the creation of wealth as envisioned by Vision 2030.

In conclusion I wish to most sincerely thank all the experts who worked tirelessly to gather and assemble the data and information that made it possible to produce the atlas. I also extend my appreciation to DANIDA for partnering with the Government of Kenya and providing the financial resources necessary for the initiative.

Read the Atlas here.