Restoring Rangelands in the Amboseli ecosystems

Land degradation leads to decline in the productive capacity of land. This equates to a long-term loss of ecosystem function, caused by disturbance from which the system cannot recover unaided. The increase in human, livestock and wildlife populations in Amboseli rangelands has led to reduction and disappearance of woody vegetation especially Acacia. tortilis and Acacia xanthophloea, grass species and animals in some areas of the ecosystem. Land degradation in Amboseli ecosystem is characterized by changes in plant species composition, loss of woodland vegetation due to human activities and destruction of woodlands by a huge population of elephants especially around Amboseli National park.

The Strategic Environmental Assessment done on Amboseli Ecosystem Management Plan (AEMP) and gazetted by Attorney generals’ chamber, led to establishment of AET, which is an umbrella body with the aim of foreseeing the implementation of the AEMP by all the stakeholders. AET Board pass a resolution and gave the secretariat power to create a Rangeland division committee to help in providing leadership in aspects of rangeland restoration and management. The committee was established and it’s now fully functional under AET. 

The objective of the committee is to restore the woody, grass vegetation and also work on interventions that curb surface run off infiltration in highly degraded areas within and outside Amboseli national park. The stakeholders have managed to put up several enclosures that restore woody vegetation and grass in the ecosystem. The restoration program in the next ten years will focus on long term plans of restoring the degraded rangelands in the seven group ranches of Amboseli ecosystem.

Amboseli Ecosystem trust have been working on several re-greening approaches to reverse the process of desertification and destruction of the ecosystem which help to protect and manage trees that naturally regenerate and thus help in restoring degraded lands and provide recharging ground water and ensure availability of fodder for livestock and wildlife.

The pictorial samples below are demonstrations of some of the restoration and re-greening activities carried out in Amboseli Ecosystem

Woodland enclosures

Fencing Olopololi

Before fencing

After fencing the olopololi

Fencing Olopololi

Women planting the grass seed

Grass seed ready for harvesting

Rain water harvesting bunds