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Protecting Kenya's Wildlife

The nations of Africa face growing problems in conservation and the protection of the environment, with the particular problem of balancing the desire and need for economic development with the often opposing need for conservation of animal populations and habitats. Competing interests bring into conflict such differing interests as wildlife preservation, agricultural and other land uses, and tourism, the latter a very important element in the economic structure of these nations. Kenya is one case where determined efforts to protect the wildlife and wildlife habitats of the region have encountered difficulties because of other interests which see a need for less conservation and more development of one kind or another.

Kenya has a lengthy history of attempting to protect certain resources. The forest resources of the nation are found principally in the Kenya Highlands, though small forested areas are found in the coastal area and in scattered ares of the country as well. Some 94 percent of these resources were in forest estates and plantations owned by the central government or by local county councils in 1983, though the latter were under the control of the Forest Department. The Forest Department estimated that the total area of these forests stood at 18,600 square kilometers, or 3.2 percent of the total land area of the country, but calculations based on satellite remote-sensing techniques put the figure at about 25 percent less than this, for 13,700 square kilometers. Another 1,740 square kilometers of plantations brought the total to 2.7 percent of total land area. The first major program to protect forests in water catchment areas in the Kenya Highlands came about with the creation of the Forest Department in 1902 at a time when widespread destruction of the forests for agricultural purposes was the norm in the lower fringes of the highlands. Protecting the upper forest regions was relatively easy because they were un...

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Protecting Kenya's Wildlife. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:46, August 04, 2020, from