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LVBC to hold scientific conference on Mara conservation

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has organised a scientific conference in Tanzania to harness and exchange knowledge on the conservation of the Maasai Mara and Serengeti ecosystems.

Various agencies and actors from the region are expected to converge in Mugumu town, Mara region of the United Republic of Tanzania, for the conference on September 14, 2023.

LVBC Executive Secretary (ES), Dr. Masinde Bwire, said the conference, which is part of the annual Mara Day Celebrations marked on September 15 on a rotational basis between Kenya and Tanzania, targets to bring all stakeholders together to address the challenges facing the Mara and develop sustainable mechanisms to conserve the unique ecosystem.

He said positive results have been attained since Kenya and Tanzania signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in 2012 to enforce transboundary management of the ecosystem.

Both countries, he said, continued to benefit immensely from the ecosystem, which brings in foreign exchange besides supporting agriculture and providing a steady supply of water to millions of people living in the region.

The Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC)Executive Secretary (ES) Dr. Masinde Bwire addressing the media

“The ecosystem has been beneficial to the two countries. We continue to see a huge influx of tourists who flock to the area to witness the wildebeest migration,” he said.

He added that LVBC, which is an East Africa Community (EAC) agency mandated to coordinate sustainable development and management of the Lake Victoria Basin, has taken the lead in coordinating agencies tasked with the responsibility of conserving the ecosystem given its importance to the region.

“Without the Mara River ecosystem, there shall be no migrations of the wildebeest, nor shall we have the Maasai Mara and Serengeti national parks,” he said.

As a buildup activity to the annual celebrations and conference, the commission has rolled out a tree planting in Kisumu and Kajiado counties, where a total of 1,000 trees are set to be planted, he said.

Speaking during a tree planting exercise at Victoria Primary School in Kisumu, which is the headquarters of LVBC, Dr. Masinde said the initiative, supported by Ecobank, was in line with the global, national, and regional restoration efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Ecobank Western Region Manager Thedias Okwaro said besides the tree planting exercise, the bank has also sponsored an essay competition where students from the two countries will be feted during the Mara Day celebrations.

The bank, he said, is committed to environmental conservation and would continue to partner with LVBC to advance the course.

By Chris Mahandara

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