• Wyss Academy

Activities in the East Africa Hub - An Overview (2020)

Place/region: Mount Kenya and the catchment area of the Ewaso Ng’iro river together with the Laikipia, Samburu, Isiolo and Meru counties


Inhabitants: Approximately 2.5 million


Biodiversity: The area ranges from the green, forested slopes of Mount Kenya to the semi-arid lowland plains almost 4,000 meters below. This variety of habitats is home to one of the densest populations of wild animals in the world, including large mammals such as elephants, rhinos and big cats.


Establishment of the East Africa Hub

  • Analysis of possible legal forms of how the Wyss Academy could be set up as an entity, allowing it to become fully operational (employing staff, signing partnership agreement with Kenyan organizations)

  • Expansion of the network in Kenya and beyond (Tanzania and Madagascar) with the aim of regionalizing the East Africa Hub


Engagement:

  • Developing a comprehensive engagement process covering issues such as landscape connectivity, the availability of water and land use planning. This will involve local communities, county and national government, international organizations and NGOs, associations on a local level and civil society.

  • Establishing an institutionalized group of champions, involving a broad range of local and national stakeholders to promote the shared use of migration corridors by wildlife and herds of live- stock belonging to the local people

  • Organizing a variety of training courses and workshops on specific subjects with local partners

Knowledge:

  • Acquiring and analysing critical basic knowledge at the landscape level (including vegetation dynamics, habitat connectivity, animal migration routes, land use, invasive plants, etc.)

  • A systematic inventory of actors and interest groups lays the foundations for targeted engagement and social innovation

  • Creation of high-resolution climate models and temperature and rainfall scenarios (Climate and Environmental Physics (CEP))

Incubators:

  • Wetlands incubator: Understanding the hydrology in the catchment area of the Gambella wetlands. Creating possible incubators in the areas of water governance and land use planning

  • Opening a new area of activity to support integrated land use planning on a district level as an opportunity to influence spatially explicit development planning in solution landscapes


Covid-19:

  • Significant limitations on engagement and the incubators. Consequence: new ways of working within partnerships and in reaching communities


The Climate and Environmental Physics department of the University of Bern created climate simulations with a resolution of 1 km for the area around Mount Kenya.

Development of the wild animal population in three districts around Mount Kenya / Based on literature review by the Institute of Plant Sciences (IPS)