Scientific research pertinent to wildlife conservation is wide ranging in its subject matter and scope. Given the impact of human activities on wildlife it necessarily includes human dimensions in addition to species focused studies. This include for example socioeconomic studies of populations; impact of habitat destruction; assessment of an education programme before and after to assess attitudinal and behaviour change; and effectiveness of conservation strategies. Field research is inextricably interlinked with conservation efforts. Population monitoring is essential if conservation practitioners are going to measure the effectiveness of interventions. Regular census provides feedback on what is and is not working, as well as providing an early warning system for emerging threats, allowing conservation to adapt over time and to become increasingly effective. Census results and population statistics not only show actual changes in numbers but reproductive health and potential are indicated by age-sex composition of the population. Understanding aspects of feeding ecology, diet and ranging behaviour are important in determining whether a population could increase in size and for improving management practice in areas underused by the apes. Measurement of ecosystem services can provide valuable data to bolster arguments for keeping forest cover.
Socioeconomic studies are important because the needs of the local community that live adjacent to ape habitat and their attitudes towards the forest, its inhabitants and conservation will determine the success or failure of interventions. Attitudes towards protected areas and conservation will be strongly affected if livelihoods are negatively impacted, for example, when collection of forest products for firewood and building materials is prevented, and when there is crop raiding. Research into poaching and bush meat consumption may include assessing the frequency and location of snares, socioeconomic status of hunters, and the price of, and preference for bush meat. Results may guide community conservation programmes indicating a need to target poorer members of society and to help find alternative means of income generation. Understanding social and economic dynamics and integrating these considerations into conservation planning is crucial to achieving workable and sustainable solutions. We have been collecting information on different wildlife species through research.
Tree planting is the process of transplanting tree seedlings, generally for forestry, land reclamation, or landscaping purposes. Trees are vital. As the biggest plants on the planet, they give us oxygen, store carbon, stabilise the soil and give life to the world’s wildlife. They also provide us with the materials for tools and shelter. Forests play a major role in erosion control, protection and conservation of water supplies and preventing floods. Because of these contributions that trees make to our environment, they are essential to our welfare. By planting trees, we make up for the loss we have caused the planet and ourselves through the destruction of forest areas over the centuries. We engauge the local communities especially youths and school children through tree planting, protection as well as nature conservation as a way of building their capacities on biodiversity conservation activities.
Climate Change mitigation
Kenya’s climate is changing. The country has experienced a general warming trend since 1960, and the trend of rising temperatures is expected to continue. Rainfall patterns have changed, with the long rainy season becoming shorter and dryer and the short rainy season longer and wetter. Kenya’s economy is largely dependent on rainfed agriculture & tourism, both susceptible to climate change and extreme weather events. Increasing heat and recurrent droughts contribute to severe crop and livestock losses, leading to famine, displacement, and other threats to human health and wellbeing.
Climate change in Kenya is increasingly impacting the lives of Kenya’s citizens and the environment. Climate change has led to more frequent extreme weather events like droughts which last longer than usual, irregular and unpredictable rainfall, flooding and increasing temperatures. The effects of these climatic changes have made already existing challenges with water security, food security and economic growth even more difficult. Harvests and agricultural production which account for about 33% of total Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are also at risk. The increased temperatures, rainfall variability in arid and semi-arid areas, and strong winds associated with tropical cyclones have combined to create favorable conditions for the breeding and migration of pests.
Climate change significantly disrupt the ecosystem services involved in agriculture, such as by affecting species distribution, inter-species relationships, and altering the effectiveness of management regimes. Such services are also needed by the tourism sector. Kenya’s wildlife species are expected to be affected in a variety of ways as the climate changes, with changes in temperature and rainfall affecting seasonal events and species ranges.
Forest cover 12.4 percent of Kenya’s land, and provide services including improving water quality, preventing erosion, and absorbing greenhouse gases, in addition to being habitats for other wildlife. Around 5,000 hectares of forest is lost annually. From 1990 to 2019, forest cover declined by 25% (824,115 hectares), which amounts to 33,000 hectares per year. This reduces both the ecosystem services the forests provide, including by diminishing wood yield and quality, and the biodiversity they support. Climate change may impede the recovery of these forests. It adversely affects forest regenerative capacity, limiting tree growth and survival, as well as increasing pest and pathogen range. There is also an increased risk and severity of forest fires as temperatures increase and droughts increase in length. Other affected habitats are coral reefs and mangroves, whose ecosystem services include protection from storm surges, providing opportunities for eco-tourism, and sustaining fisheries. Both are directly affected by increasing temperatures and rising sea levels. We need to act quickly to overturn this tread in order to save biodiversity holistically as well as save many animal species from a would-be extinction.
Animal Welfare and Advocacy Program
Animal welfare is the well-being of non-human animals. Animal welfare science uses measures such as longevity, disease, immunosuppression, behavior, physiology, and reproduction, although there is debate about which of these bests indicate animal welfare. Respect for animal welfare is often based on the belief that nonhuman animals are sentient and that consideration should be given to their well-being or suffering, especially when they are under the care of humans. These concerns can include how animals are slaughtered for food, how they are used in scientific research, how they are kept (as pets, in zoos, farms, circuses, etc.), and how human activities affect the welfare and survival of wild species.
Kenya like other countries have notable rich wealth of several types of animals including farm animals, companion animals, wild animals, marine animals and working animals. Animals under all these categories plays huge role in our daily life for provide us with foods, transporting our goods from one place to another, helping us to gets foreign money through tourism, they give us company in our family, enrich our life and help us to guard our compounds. All types of animals in different parts of Kenya face severe problems although they play greats role to our daily life, they are treated in cruelty manners to an extent of death. Working animals on the other hand are heavenly beaten while they are working, over loaded, working with health problems, they are not provided with essential needs such as foods, water, medication when sick and shelter for resting they majority are just abandoned after working hours to find food on their own especially the donkeys. Animal welfare is important because there are so many animals around the world suffering from cruelty as a result of human activities something that needs to be addressed through, education, awareness raising, outreach activities, sensitization of the local communities and advocacy activities in order to save all animals from cruelty
Empowering Vulnerable Groups
Marginalisation – sometimes also called social exclusion – refers to the relegation to the fringes of society due to a lack of access to rights, resources, and opportunities. It is a major cause of vulnerability, which refers to exposure to a range of possible harms, and being unable to deal with them adequately. The goal of community work is usually to have communities improve their wellbeing. Without empowerment, marginalized communities remain powerless over circumstances that prevail in their environments.
Support is given to activities designed to increase the scope and diversity of the support provided to socially vulnerable groups and to inspire these groups to engage in activities for their own and others’ benefit. Our activities are largely designed to provide support to individuals from groups vulnerable to social exclusion, for example people with disabilities and their families and friends, elderly people, children and youth from socially vulnerable communities
Through an integrated approach to conservation, BICO seeks to facilitate the coexistence of wildlife, local communities, and their habitats. The Community driven Conservation Programme is focused on bringing our work into the public realm through several different approaches including talks, media articles, information boards and our drop in centre. We engage local people in developing forest management and conservation practices that will improve the status of the regions forests and increase benefits from them. With coastal people, we work to ensure that coastal and marine biodiversity is protected and used wisely in order to provide social and economic benefits while maintaining ecological integrity. We endeavour to ensure that key elements of dry land ecosystems and biodiversity are brought under appropriate conservation regimes.
Schools Environmental Education
Environmental education refers to organized efforts to teach how natural environments function, how they interact and are influenced by human activity, and particularly, how human beings can manage their behaviour and physical environment to live in a more sustainable and less damaging way. Whilst often used to imply education within a school system, it can include all efforts to educate the public and other audiences, including print materials, websites, media campaigns, etc.
The term environmental education is often used interchangeably with conservation education although the latter is more grounded in its philosophy of teaching how to conserve the natural world. People fight for what they care about, and one aspect of developing a caring attitude is knowledge. Progress in conservation depends upon the development of public understanding of the relationships between species, the environment and people’s own. The traditional thinking behind environmental education is that we can change behaviour by increasing knowledge and influencing attitudes about environmental and surrounding issues. This assumes that as people become more knowledgeable, they will in turn become more aware of the environment and its problems, and be motivated to act towards the environment in a more responsible way. It is now thought that instruction must go beyond awareness and knowledge of issues to change behaviour, and that ‘students’ must be provided with the opportunity to develop a sense of ownership and empowerment so that they become fully invested and prompted to become responsible active citizens in the environmental arena.
In situ projects are doomed to failure in the long term if the local people are not involved and if the underlying causes of habitat loss and the threats to species are not addressed” Support for in situ education programmes such as these will make a difference in the work to conserve threatened species. Without awareness and understanding of stakeholders, conservation initiatives are likely to be ineffective and consequently most of our conservation programmes have an educational component.
We conduct series of conservation education, capacity building training and awareness raising as a means of in-situ knowledge sharing strategy where conservation information will be shared. We do this by instilling an understanding of the value of nature, wildlife and ecosystem whilst improving understanding of Kenya’s conservation laws.
Help us as we undertake education and conservation outreaches
Wildlife resources belong to all of us, and for wildlife conservation to be effective; the public must understand and value wildlife. BICO believes education and outreach are essential to wildlife and nature conservation in general. We respond to this need through;
Development of the capacities of the local communities in monitoring as well as conservation of nature
Development of outreach materials to help the local communities to improve their know how on the values of biodiversity in general in any ecosystem
Engaging the public on biodiversity conservation through participation in local school programs and providing public lectures;
Local capacity building
Capacity has historically been viewed as a human resource term, such as an individual’s capacity to do, to achieve, to develop, and is most often referred to in terms of competencies and capabilities. People are both the driving force behind biodiversity loss and the reason for protecting it. Long-term conservation success depends on developing and supporting committed individuals and institutions that are strong enough and effective enough to address the threats to the natural world. Whilst outside intervention may provide a short-term fix, the most effective and long-term solutions to safeguard species and habitats lie in local hands. Our capacity building helps directly by providing training and education to the local communities in key skills essential for effective protection of wildlife populations and their habitats. Through community initiatives, public discussions and dissemination of educational material we inform the public on conservation issues to help them make informed decisions. We have been issuing biodiversity conservation materials to the local communities too as a way of building their capacities in conservation.
Community sustainable development
The links between biodiversity, conservation and poverty reduction have been explored, debated and incorporated into key policy. Alternative livelihoods projects such as keeping livestock to reduce demand for bush meat or income generating projects such as woodlots reducing the reliance on forest products for fuel are great projects if implemented. The provision of fuel-efficient stoves can further reduce consumption of wood for fuel and has positive benefits for human health and welfare. Community forestry or community based protected areas has the potential to empower community groups. Protected areas and nature-based tourism can provide direct employment, for example as rangers and guides, and support other income generation activities.
BICO supports community sustainable developments geared towards initiatives poverty eradication as well as conserving biodiversity hot spots. To this end, BICO supports numerous Alternative livelihoods through training to help local communities become more self-sufficient, eradicate hunger and reduce dependability. The ultimate goal is to help them move beyond subsistence to surplus. BICO has been active in sponsoring food gardens at both the family and community level. We have also helped to develop innovative cash crop projects that can provide both food to eat and surplus for cash sale.
Water & sanitation program
Water scarcity in Kenya has been an issue for decades, as only a small percentage of the country’s land is optimal for agriculture, and the year-round climate is predominantly arid. People should do their best to conserve water for three reasons. The less water used or wasted by people, the less clean water will become contaminated. Kenya faces challenges in water provision with erratic weather patterns in the past few years causing droughts and water shortages. Kenya also has a limited renewable water supply and is classified as a water scarce country. Urban migration contributes to challenges in sanitation, as people crowd into cities and urban growth is unregulated. Due to lack of access to water and sanitation, diarrhea is second to pneumonia in deaths in children under five years of age (excluding neonatal). Water, sanitation and hygiene related illnesses and conditions are the number one cause of hospitalization in children under age five. Access to water and sanitation also contribute to time savings for women, more hours in school for girls, and fewer health costs. We have been supporting the needs of water and sanitation especially to school children. We on the other hand work with local schools through health and sanitation education. This program aims at ensuring that the local communities have clean and save water. The highest priority for BICO Water and Sanitation programme is improving and optimizing access to safe water and helping provide adequate sanitation to all.
Over 27.8 million lack access to safe water in Kenya
32.7 million People in Kenya lack access to improved sanitation
63% of the total population in Kenya lives below the national poverty line
The number of the big four (Lions, Elephants, Rhinos & cheaters) is decreasing day in day out due to illegal poaching and impacts of the climate changes
Some forests in Kenya have amphibians which are not found anywhere else and they are threatened or critically endangered like the Taita Warty frog found only in Taita Hills forest and parts of Mt Elgon
Majority of the Kenyan population are ignorant on biodiversity conservation
Peacebuilding and conflict mitigation Program
Peace building is a long-term process of encouraging people to talk to one another, repairing relationships, and reforming institutions. For positive change to last, those affected by a destructive conflict have to be involved in the process of building peace as well as resolving their differences in an amicable ways. Transforming relationships is key to putting an end to violence. Our Peace building and conflict mitigation program seeks to address the underlying causes of conflict, helping people to resolve their differences peacefully and laying the foundations to prevent future violence.
Wetland and Marine conservation program
Human activities have significantly altered coastal and marine habitat over time. This degradation and loss of habitat has significant economic and social consequences. For example, habitat degradation and loss has reduced the size and diversity of fish populations, which in turn decreases opportunities for commercial and recreational fisheries. Human population continues to concentrate near the coasts, increasing the pressures on coastal and marine habitat.
Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for the local communities, fish and wildlife. Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods. These valuable functions are the result of the unique natural characteristics of wetlands. Coastal wetlands are some of the most productive ecosystems on Earth. Salt marshes, sea grass beds, and mangroves play an important role in addressing climate change by removing greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing them in plants and in the soil. Coastal blue carbon is the term used for carbon that is stored in these coastal habitats.
Our efforts to conserve coastal habitats play an important role in preserving coastal blue carbon, preventing the release of carbon into the atmosphere, and reducing the effects of climate change.