Lake Turkana is a natural World Heritage Site in northern Kenya, inscribed for its remarkable biodiversity and geological features. Threats to the livelihoods of the local community and the local environment are now known here at the World Heritage Committee in Paris thanks to a young woman from the region who raised the issue at the International Youth Forum at the Biodiversity Summit in Nagoya, Japan late last year.
Within the lake there are sizeable hippopotamus and crocodile populations. The local communities around the Turkana are dependent on it for freshwater, irrigation and for feeding their livestock. Fishing is also an important revenue earner in what is a quite impoverished region.
IUCN’s Tatjana Puschkarsky worked with the International Youth Forum “Go4BioDiv”, and she has more on the latest situation in Lake Turkana.
Mikelita was the young person from Lake Turkana who attended the Biodiversity Summit in Nagoya in October 2010 and brought the situation facing her home to the world’s attention. Mikelita works as a social worker in the Lake Turkana region. Tatiana explains what Mikelita said.
But that’s not where the story ended. With the help of IUCN the issues raised by Mikelita have been heard here at the World Heritage Committee in Paris. Tatiana tells us what happened next.