The Ramsar wetland sites are important habitats for biodiversity and provide ecological services to communities that otherwise have no access to water resources. In Kenya, some wetlands are more prominent and are recognized worldwide as tourist hot spots, biodiversity-rich zones and wildlife habitats. However, these wetlands face overexploitation and degradation from surrounding communities. The efforts to halt underlying threats and the projected declines in the size and quality of inland wetlands at local levels are not sufficient. The question guiding this study is as follows: to what extent do a Ramsar designation and formal and informal education support communities and institutional efforts in the protection of inland wetlands? This research was conducted at inland wetland lakes of Naivasha, Nakuru and Bogoria that have been designated as Ramsar sites to examine the extent to which existing education has influenced communities’ efforts in protecting wetlands. Primary data were collected via questionnaire from three study sites. Using both descriptive and inferential statistics, a logistic regression to determine the significance of various predictor variables, including education, for changes in biodiversity as a proxy for wetlands protection outcomes was performed. The results indicated that education, awareness and other key variables that were expected to support wetlands protection had no significant impact on changes in biodiversity. The study concludes that the designation as Ramsar Convention-protected status alone cannot stop the degradation of inland wetlands in an environment where existing formal and informal education has not empowered communities and institutional efforts.
Shah, P., Atisa, G. Environmental education and awareness: the present and future key to the sustainable management of Ramsar convention sites in Kenya. Int Environ Agreements 21, 611–630 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10784-021-09534-7
International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics