Nature Kenya’s overall goal for the last few years has been ‘CONNECTING NATURE AND PEOPLE’. Nature Kenya celebrated it’s 100th anniversary in 2009 and it is an exceptional organization made up of volunteers, with a strong grassroots presence in the form of community-based and driven site support groups. The Insect Committee of Nature Kenya was formed in 2001.
These are some of the areas that we work in relation to pollinators:
• Raising general awareness in the public about the less well-known/under appreciated species such as useful insects and pollinators.
• Documenting the interface of biodiversity and rural subsistence farming through research into pollinators. This information has revealed that many places face pollination problems, and that wild insect pollinators, primarily bees, are the most important groups of pollinators and easily disrupted by poor farming practices.
• Drawing links between the productivity of farms and wild pollinator species. Work in the Taita Hills, for example, part of one of the planet’s biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ has revealed that the wild bee pollinators of one of the world’s most recognisable and endangered plants, the African Violet, are also shared by the crops that farmers grow on the edges of the forest.
• Education and awareness, e.g over 50 walks with school groups focused on insects have been conducted across the country, with follow-up activities and opportunities developed for the students to encourage conservation.
We are also currently working towards the following goals:
Develop a longer-term pollinator programme with schools immediately adjacent to the most biodiverse areas of Kenya, this will include monitoring pollinators and establishment of pollinator gardens in schools by the participating students and teachers.
Develop pollinator gardens at the National Museums of Kenya-City Park, and at some of the community sites for public education and awareness.
Work with farmer-groups around critical ecosystems to prevent encroachment and build support for conservation through linking sustainable rural agriculture with monitoring and conservation of wild pollinators and habitats.
Improve food security and reduce rural poverty through better management of shared natural resources, such as pollinators.
Produce leaflets, booklets and other accessible information for farmers, schoolchildren and the public at large on insects and their importance.