The Mara-Serengeti ecosystem is a crucial, unique habitat for the wildlife that forms the back bone of the tourism industries in Kenya and Tanzania. This ecosystem also supports the livelihoods of many Kenyan and Tanzanian citizens. Both wildlife and humans depend on the flow of the Mara River for their survival. On April 22 two regional conservation documents developed with support from USAID/EA were launched in Nairobi. The reports included The Mara River Basin Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and The Mara River Basin Environmental Flows Assessment. Excessive extraction of water and the alteration of the river flow pose fundamental threats to biodiversity and local livelihoods. It is positive therefore, that the Governments of both Kenya and Tanzania, with many stakeholders, are working together to improve the cross-border management of this ecosystem. Speakers at the event included USAID/EA Regional Director Larry Meserve; Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa, Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, Kenya; H.E. Nyasugara Kadege, High Commissioner, Tanzania; and Deputy Secretary General Jean Claude Nsengiyumva, East African Community.
Next steps include implementation of the reports’ recommendations, which will be managed by the East
African Community’s Lake Victoria Basin Commission through support provided by USAID/EA.