The Laikipia County occupies a wild and expansive landscape (9,500km²), physically diverse and scenically spectacular; with grasslands, hills and forests. This ecosystem supports both herds of domesticated animals and also wildlife, with wildlife population densities ranking 2nd to the world famous Maasai Mara.
The LWF operates a VHF radio network which is available to all land owners and land users in Laikipia District, that are members of the Forum. The radio network links local communities with the Kenya police, local administration and the Kenya Wildlife Services, and members are licensed through the Communications Commission of Kenya.
We are coming close to your locality to find out about your environment. We are giving you an opportunity to share with us and the wider community any positive and negatives changes you have observed within your environment. For instance, tell us about a river close to where you live, or about trends associated with forests in your locality. Feel free to share stories, songs and artwork related to your environment.
By sharing with us you will be playing a part in our Laikipia Environmental Education Movie Series, as your submissions will get the opportunity to be filmed and packaged into short films which will be distributed across the County.
Symposiums create good platforms for people to debate issues affecting their environment. We plan to facilitate symposiums with universities and colleges at the same time creating an opportunity to enhance relationships between LWF and higher learning institutions.
The program will also begin recognizing conversation efforts in schools by handing out ‘Best Environmentally Managed School’ Awards during the annual Laikipia County Education Prize Giving Day.
Our bus program continues to expose communities to areas of high biodiversity importance targeting organized groups such as Schools, Water Resource User Associations and community based natural resource management groups keen on environmental conservation. Conservancies have so far been the greatest asset in our bus program as they offer the best opportunity to teach environmental conservation outside classroom settings. To further enrich our bus program, environmental magazines, posters and a student's hand book will be issued to all students who participate in the program.
The bus is also going to extend its tentacles further into adult based community education by getting involved with farmers who practice conservation agriculture and using their properties as learning sites for exposure tours.
We are venturing into new territory this year by introducing the concept of eco schools (eco – friendly) in 5 schools spread out across Laikipia. These will serve as conservation learning/demo sites for other schools and surrounding communities.
Eco-Schools is an international initiative designed to encourage whole-school action on sustainable development education issues. It is an environmental management tool and a learning resource that empowers young students to be the change our sustainable world needs by engaging them in fun, action-orientated learning.
They also provide a chance to get the whole school united behind something important in the hope of bringing about behavior change in young people so that good habits learned in schools are followed through into homes and communities. Schools interested in being considered for selection as an Eco School, should get in touch and send a formal letter to the LWF Environmental Education & literacy Program Officer, Sammy Wanjau.
Learning through participation is perhaps the best way to deliver nature based learning. Students are encouraged to contribute to the Laikipia Environmental Magazine by submitting poems, photos, cartoons, and images depicting the environmental status of the environment around you. Send us indigenous information about your environment including any myths and beliefs related to animals or plants. We want to know as much as possible about your environment and help you share it with the larger Laikipia population.
Immense untapped potential exists amongst guides, scouts and community educators in Laikipia that can greatly advance environmental education in our County. The education program has developed a ‘Guides Training Course’ for the above mentioned group which is also geared towards fostering a cascade training system for educators in Laikipia.
We encourage you apply once the course announcement is made. The course will cover basic introductions to nature interpretation; Ornithology, Mammalogy, Entomology and Herpetology as well as human wildlife conflict and the geography of Laikipia.
This year will see us partner with teachers who have already benefited from our 2013 training workshops in delivering a series of mini workshops at village level. The workshops will introduce different teaching methodologies for environmental education as well as provide an opportunity for LWF to monitor and evaluate teachers we have trained in previous workshops. We also envisage this as a good opportunity to work closely with the Ministry of Education, Laikipia County.
In 2013, we established a resource centre in Kimanjo which has proven very useful to surrounding communities. This year, plans are underway to develop the Mount Kenya Eco Resource Centre in Burguret into properly functioning environmental education centre. This will afford schools from Laikipia East and Central an opportunity to engage in hands on learning. The centre will be designed to offer experiential learning whilst exploring other outdoor teaching methodologies.
We will continue to celebrate and participate in various environmentally related World Days with keen interest as these provide a platform for awareness creation. Some of the days we plan to celebrate include; World Water Day, World Forest Day, World Environment Day, World Rhino Day and the recently declared World Wildlife Day.
For more information
Large mammals in Laikipia County are both diverse and numerous, perhaps more so than almost anywhere in East Africa. This includes half of Kenya's black rhinos, the second largest population of elephants in Kenya and the globally threatened Grevy's Zebra. But what is perhaps most unusual about the wildlife numbers in Laikipia is that they are stable in the face of a sharp national decline; Laikipia is bucking the trend.
Set against the backdrop of Mt Kenya, Laikipia is one of the most important areas for biodiversity in Kenya, and has abundant and diverse wildlife. The area hosts the highest populations of endangered species in the country.
Laikipia is also increasingly being recognized as one of the country's foremost safari destinations. It is home to some of Africa's most luxurious safari lodges and camps, and hosts 5 community owned lodges.
Wildlife is free to roam between ranches, conservancies and community lands, and the region offers visitors the freedom and space to walk, ride, cycle and camp.
Laikipia is physically diverse with open grasslands, basalt hills and dense forests. It is also rich in wildlife and supports many domestic herds. The land and animals are owned by a cross section of landowners and land users (including local community groups, private ranchers, pastoralists, small scale farmers and tourism ventures).