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Mt Kenya University
Credit Hours: 3
Pre-requisites: EGE 122 and EGE 222
George Eshiamwata
An introduction to fundamentals of
environmental and management
Expected Learning Outcomes
1. Discuss the making implementation of
environmental policies; soil, and water
conservation, Forest management, River and other
aquatic environmental conservation.
2. Discuss the Role of National environmental
management authority (NEMA) I National
Development and Planning
Course Content
Environmental conservation and its significance in Kenya;
Policy making and implementation in environmental
Soil and water conservation in different environments,
Forests management, River catchments studies, Protected
Land use conflicts;
Aquatic environments (Lakes and marine);
The role of environmental conservation in national
National Environmental Management Authority
Teaching / Learning Methodologies
Lectures; Tutorials; Class discussion
Instructional Materials and
Handouts; Chalk board
Course Assessment
Examination - 70%; Continuous Assessments (Exercises
and Tests) - 30%; Total - 100%
Recommended Text Books
Muchina S. J (2009); An Introduction to
Environmental Management; JKF
Asish Ghosh (2008); Environmental Conservation;
Aph Publishing House
Michael d (2005); Environmental Science:
Managining Biological and Physical Resources
Richard T (2002); Environmental Conservations;
Person Educations
Text Books for further Reading
• Journals (2002);
• NEMA Publications
• Michael D (2009); Environmental Science:
Managing Biological and Physical Resources;
Prentice Hall
• William P (2007); Environmental Science: A
Global Concern; McGraw Hill
• Origin of the term:
• The word derived from the French word
“environ” – some what related to
“encompass” “encircle” etc. It is believed to
have been introduced into the subject by
biologist Jacob Van Erkulin the early 1900
Many definitions exist:
• The sum total of all surroundings of a living
organism, including natural forces and other
living things, which provide conditions for
development and growth as well as of danger
and damage.
• the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all
other external factors surrounding and
affecting a given organism at any time.
• the natural surroundings of that organism
which directly or indirectly influences the
growth and development of the organism.
• the surroundings in which an organization
operates including air, water, land and natural
resources, flora, fauna,humans and their inter
relations” – ISO
• is the sum total of all living and non living
factors that compose the surroundings of man
Components of the Environment
• the air, water, minerals, soil, and living
Components of the Environment
Atmosphere (air)
Lithosphere (land)
Fauna -consumers
Very interrelated terms
• The natural surroundings of an organism, both living and
physical is its environment
• Ecology is a branch of study of the
interrelationships with the organism and its
environment. The Earth includes a variety of living
things which depend in some way on other living
and nonliving things in its Environment.
• Ecology is the study of the relationships between
all organisms and their environment
• The biosphere is the largest ecosystem of
all. It consists of the thin layer of the earth's
surface where all organisms live
• Ecology involves collecting information about
organisms and their environment, looking for
patterns, and seeking to explain these patterns. It
can be confidently established that Environmental
Science is more or less Ecology
• The ecology that takes place in a defined area is
called ecosystem.
• is a self-sustaining collection
of organisms and their environment. – a dynamic
system of interaction between all of the species
inhabiting an area and the non-living , physical
• Ecosystems consist of three levels of life:
–Species - the sheer variety of species on Earth
–Ecosystem s - the environments where the species
evolve and live
• A community - which refers to the
organisms that live in a particular place
such as a forest (residents of a neighborhood)
A habitat - refers to the physical location of
a community (neighborhood).
• Genetic diversity- all the variety of genes
within a species (and ecosystem)
Importance of environmental conservation
• Natural environment = air, rivers, lakes,
oceans, land & biological life
• Three main functions:
– Resource supplier e.g. extract raw materials and
– Life-support system
– Waste assimilator
Importance of environmental conservation
• Both the formation & maintenance of gaseous
composition of the air are sustained by the
living components of the biosphere (plants &
micro-organisms). e.g. oxygen produced by
• Soil fertility: is one of the essentials for the
existence of mankind is fully determined by
the life activities of great many living creatures
of the soil (invertebrates, fungi, bacteria, algae
Importance of environmental conservation
• Purity & quality of water are as a result of
activities of living creatures (destruction of the
ever-increasing amount of pollutants and
foreign or natural waste compounds are
carried out by biodegrading organisms
– Environment is therefore an assimilator of wastes
from human activities
• The diversity of living nature is an
indispensable source of all our food (proteins,
fats, carbohydrates), top quality materials for
clothing (wool, cotton, silk, linen ) & footwear
(leather), cellulose
Importance of environmental conservation
• The potential value of every aspect of the
environment is important e.g. unique
characteristics & properties which may be
potentially utilized by man now or in the
• Man himself is a sort of ecosystem – each
physiologically and physically connected with
an immense number of species and the
Importance of environmental conservation
• The diversity of forms of living nature is vitally
important & essential for the formation,
development and maintenance of man’s
spiritual & mental well-being
• The position of man in the environment & his
power over other living things demand a
better recognition of being environmental
• Recreation & enjoyment of the beauty
Functions of the natural environment &
relationship with economic activities
Natural Environment
Environmental services
(raw material & energy)
Goods & Services
(recreation, clean
waters, rich wildlife)
Waste Management
Ecosystem services/environmental services include provisioning services, such as food
and water; regulating services, such as flood and disease control; cultural services, such
as spiritual, recreational and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as nutrient
cycling that maintain the conditions for life on Earth
Environment &n Human well-being
Human well-being is the extent to which individuals
have the ability and the opportunity to live the
kinds of lives they have reason to value.
Environment &n Human well-being
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing,
and not merely the absence of disease or illness. Good health not only
includes being strong and feeling well, but also freedom from
avoidable disease, a healthy physical environment, access to energy,
safe water and clean air. What one can be and do include among
others, the ability to keep fit, minimize health related stress, and
ensure access to medical care.
Material needs relate to access to ecosystem goods-and-services.
The material basis for a good life includes secure and adequate
livelihoods, income and assets, enough food and clean water at all
times, shelter, clothing, access to energy to keep warm and cool,
and access to goods.
Environment &n Human well-being
Security relates to personal and environmental security. It includes
access to natural and other resources, and freedom from violence,
crime and wars (motivated by environmental drivers), as well as
security from natural and human-caused disasters.
Social relations refer to positive characteristics that define interactions
among individuals, such as social cohesion, reciprocity, mutual
respect, good gender and family relations, and the ability to help
others and provide for children.
Increasing the real opportunities that people have to improve their lives requires
addressing all these components. This is closely linked to environmental quality
and the sustainability of ecosystem services.
Environmental issues
1. Water resources
Quantity and quality:Water resources are under
pressure from agricultural chemicals and urban
and industrial wastes, as well as from use for
hydroelectric power e.g. Kenya expects a
shortage of water to pose a problem in the
coming years. Water-quality problems in lakes,
including water hyacinth infestation in Lake
Victoria, have contributed to a substantial
decline in fishing output and endangered fish
Environmental issues
• Forestry
Output from forestry also has declined because of resource
degradation. Overexploitation over the past three decades has
reduced the country’s timber resources by one-half. At present
only 2% of the land remains forested, and an estimated 50km2 of
forest are lost each year. This loss of forest aggravates erosion, the
silting of dams and flooding, and the loss of biodiversity.
• Mau forest, coastal forests etc
• Forest depletion and livelihoods, quality of living, ecosystem
services (flooding, erosion, global warming)
Environmental issues
• Wildlife
There are a wide variety of wildlife species in Kenya,
whose habitats are threatened by encroachment of
man species that are threatened e.g. Birds,
mammals, plants, fish etc
Environmental issues
• Erosion is the removal of solids (sediment,
soil, rock and other particles) in the natural
environment. It usually occurs due to
transport by wind, water, or ice; by downslope creep of soil and other material under
the force of gravity; or by living organisms,
such as burrowing animals, in the case of
Environmental issues
• Erosion
The process of chemical or physical breakdown of
the minerals in the rocks, although the two
processes may occur concurrently. Erosion is a
noticeable intrinsic natural process but in many
places it is increased by human land use. Poor
land use practices include deforestation,
overgrazing, unmanaged construction activity
and road-building..
Environmental issues
• Erosion
Land that is used for the production of
agricultural crops generally experiences a
significant greater rate of erosion than that of
land under natural vegetation. This is
particularly true if tillage is used, which
reduces vegetation cover on the surface of the
soil and disturbs both soil structure and plant
roots that would otherwise hold the soil in
Environmental issues
• Erosion: However, improved land use practices
can limit erosion, using techniques such as
terrace-building, conservation tillage
practices, and tree planting.
A certain amount of erosion is natural and, in
fact, healthy for the ecosystem. For example,
gravels continuously move downstream in
Environmental issues
• Erosion is the removal of solids (sediment, soil, rock and other
particles) in the natural environment. It usually occurs due to
transport by wind, water, or ice; by down-slope creep of soil and
other material under the force of gravity; or by living organisms,
such as burrowing animals, in the case of bioerosion.
The degradation of land in arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting
primarily from man-made activities and influenced by climatic
variations. It is principally caused by overgrazing, overdrafting of
groundwater and diversion of water from rivers for human
consumption and industrial use, all of these processes
fundamentally driven by overpopulation.
A major impact of desertification is biodiversity loss and loss of
productive capacity, for example, by transition from land dominated
• Erosion
The process of chemical or physical
breakdown of the minerals in the rocks,
although the two processes may occur
concurrently. Erosion is a noticeable intrinsic
natural process but in many places it is
increased by human land use. Poor land use
practices include deforestation, overgrazing,
unmanaged construction activity and roadbuilding. Land that is used for the production
Environmental issues
• Excessive erosion, however, does cause
problems, such as receiving water
sedimentation, ecosystem damage and
outright loss of soil
Environmental issues
• Desertification
The degradation of land in arid and dry subhumid areas, resulting primarily from manmade activities and influenced by climatic
variations. It is principally caused by
overgrazing, overdrafting of groundwater and
diversion of water from rivers for human
consumption and industrial use, all of these
processes fundamentally driven by
Environmental issues
• Desertification: A major impact of
desertification is biodiversity loss and loss of
productive capacity, for example, by transition
from land dominated by shrublands to nonnative grasslands. In Kenya, if current trends
of soil degradation continue, we will be able
to feed only 25% of our population by 2025
Environmental issues
• All these issues compromise the ability of the
environment to offer ecosystem services: the
services provided by the environment/ecosystem
and ecological processes including regulation of
water flows and maintenance of water quality, the
formation of soil, prevention of soil erosion, and
nutrient cycling that maintains soil fertility,
degradation of wastes and pollution, pest and
pathogen control, pollination and climate regulation
through carbon storage and sequestration
Environmental conservation
• maintenance of the environment, maintenance of the
habitat, preservation of the environs, protection of the
• Conservation: The protection, preservation, management, or
restoration of natural environments and the ecological
communities that inhabit them. Conservation is generally held
to include the management of human use of natural
resources for current public benefit and sustainable social and
economic utilization.
• Environmental conservation or protection is a practice of
protecting the environment, on individual, organizational or
governmental level, for the benefit of the natural
environment and (or) humans.
Environmental conservation
• Environmental protection definition includes all available
practices used to protect our environment, whether on
individual, organizational or global (international) level. This
basically means that each and every one of us can do
something to protect our environment but of course, global
actions are the ones that would help our environment the
Importance of environmental conservation
• Environmental conservation not just about animals It is in fact
essential to our own survival.
• Importance to agriculture
– Agriculture depends on the environment and we depend on
agriculture. This is obvious in countries where the economies depend
on agriculture but applies to all. A country’s wealth might come from
something else but its population needs to eat. Conserving the
environment and preventing soil erosion, desertification, and flooding
is essential. Unsustainable farming techniques not only impact natural
ecosystems but also ultimately make farming itself impossible.
Importance of environmental
• Importance to fishing
– While much of our food comes from agriculture, the
oceans are also an essential source. Communities
worldwide depend upon seafood. Marine conservation is
vital to protect human food supplies as well as marine
animals. Looking after the seas doesn’t just mean saving
big, glamorous animals from extinction, important as this
is. At the moment there are serious conservation issues
affecting the oceans, including over fishing and pollution,
bleaching of coral reefs. The complex, interlinked
ecosystems need conserving in our own self-interest.
Importance of environmental
• Importance to climate
– Human activities impact the climate, and this affects all
life. Droughts, floods, and extremes of heat and cold, are
caused by global warming, which is almost certainly linked
to greenhouse gas emissions. Some countries are already
experiencing disastrous effects, while others it is just, for
the moment, inconvenient. There are other, more local,
climate changes also caused by not treating the
environment with respect. For example rainfall is affected
by deforestation. Conservation of natural environments
should be done not just for their own sake, but also for
that of the world as a whole.
• Politics: (1) The basic principles by which a government
is guided.
(2) The declared objectives that a government or party
seeks to achieve and preserve in the interest of
national community.
• Management: The set of basic principles and associated
guidelines, formulated and enforced by the governing
body of an organization, to direct and limit its actions in
pursuit of long-term goals
Global Concern towards
environmental conservation
• Loss of environmental services and impact on
economies, livelihoods, stability, species extinction
– The loss of species, will lead to loss breakdown of
biogeochemical process, ecosystem and ecological processes,
economies, human well-being and hunger
– Many insects, which play essential roles as decomposers and
pollinators, are threatened: between 100k and 500k species of
insects are projected to become extinct in the next 300 years,
a rate that equals losing 7 to 30 species per week (Mawdsley
and Stork, 1995).
– Vicious circle: There is a clear cause-and-effect between
poverty & environmental degradation & poverty is an habitual
cause of environmental degradation & undermines people’s
capacity to manage resources well & sustainably
Some facts (From USAID, 2005)
• Ecosystems and habitats are also threatened and are being lost at
alarming levels:
– More than 2/3of the area of 2 of the world’s 14 major terrestrial
biomes and more than half of the area of 4 other biomes had
been converted, primarily to agriculture, by 1990 (Millennium
Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
– 1/5 of all tropical rain forest cover was lost between 1960 and
1990, according to the World Resources Institute (WRI).
– 5% of the world’s wetlands habitat has been destroyed over the
past 100 years (WRI, 2003).
– The world's coastal mangroves, a vital nursery ground for
countless species, are also at risk; 50% have already been cleared
(WRI, 2000-2001).
– 20% of the world’s coral reefs were lost and an additional 20%
degraded in the last several decades of the twentieth century
(Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005).
Policy making at Global levels
Environmental policies in 3rd world
• Not coherent and rationalized partly because:
– poverty and socioeconomic needs are often seen
as more pressing than the need for environmental
• But caveat: we can not develop or alleviate poverty
without the environment e.g Mau forest issues and the
Sondu Miriu power, drying of Rift valley lakes, flooding
in Budalangi, hunger, scramble and clan fighting
because of pasture and water
Why Kenya has not been effective in formulating and
implementing environmental policies
• lack of institutional capacity and resources to mobilize
and link activities effectively within and between sectors,
• specific environmental sectoral laws that do not
adequately articulate the links between development,
population and environmental concerns; and more often
conflict with the EMCA, and
• limited budgetary provisions to finance the effective
implementation of environmental programs set out in
national development plans.
• Sectoral
– Agricultural
– Livestock
– Water
– Health
– Energy
– Mining
– Human settlement
– Industry
– Wildlife
– Forestry
– fisheries
Instruments for Environmental Policy
Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental legislation
Economic instruments
Environmental standards & indicators
Precautionary approach/principle
International collaboration
Environmental legislation
• EMCA 1999
• Forest Act 2005
– Strong emphasis on partnerships
– Participatory forest management – cooeperative
behavior among users of the resource (CFAs
formed to avoid free rider/tragedy of the
– Opened commercial plantation for lease
arrangement by interested groups
Environmental policy in Kenya
In order to strengthen coherence within the environmental sector and
addressing key environmental and development challenges facing her,
Kenya is in the process of developing an environmental policy which
aims to integrate environment into the wider economic context,
addressing trade- offs between economic growth and poverty reduction,
and environmental sustainability. The Environmental Policy will
complement EMCA
Vision 2030 & Environment
International Collaboration
• MEAs and Conventions
– Which MEAs/conventions is Kenya a signatory to
– How are they being domesticated