Crafting new approaches to sustainable development: Nature’s contribution to the people in the Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem is under threat

African Bio Services eBook

The global community is increasingly receiving depressing information about the state of our planet. Biodiversity is declining at an alarming rate (IPBES 2019: Global assessment on biodiversity and ecosystem services), drinking water quality is an increasing concern, and global warming is accelerating, and makes major alterations to hydrology. Finally, plastic waste is polluting our world, particularly the oceans. Africa is also vulnerable to these threats. Human reliance on ecosystems is the highest in many regions of Africa, where poverty reduces people’s ability to use or purchase resources beyond the ecosystem services that are acquired at low cost from their direct surroundings.

Africa is the continent with the highest human population growth rate, experiencing rapid changes in land-use patterns, and global warming is an increasing threat across the continent. Despite these threats, most African countries have set aside large proportions of their terrestrial land area as protected areas (PAs) for the world’s benefit. For instance, Tanzania set aside around one-third of the terrestrial land as protected areas. Kenya is no exception to the tendency of designating land for conservation. One of the most iconic protected areas is shared by these two East African countries – the Greater Serengeti-Mara Ecosystem (GSME), a World Heritage-listed and Biosphere Reserve biodiversity hotspot in northernTanzania and southern Kenya.

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