Posts Tagged ‘2013’

2nd Annual ‘Mara Day’ to raise awareness of degradation of Mara River basin ecosystem

September 5, 2013

On September 15th, stakeholders from Kenya, Tanzania and surrounding communities will come together to celebrate Mara Day to focus on the health of the Mara River. Informative activities and presentations aim to foster discussions on water quality, pollution, deforestation, drought and other environmental and social challenges facing the MRB and its sustainable development.

More than 1.1 million people live in the MRB and a wealth of flora and fauna depend on its resources. It’s no coincidence the event takes place during the famous wildebeest migration in which the perennial Mara River becomes the destination for the world’s largest mammal migration of almost 2 million wildebeest and zebra. For more information about Mara Day: http://allafrica.com/stories/201307261515.html?viewall=1

The Mara River would seem to be pristine and unfettered as it runs from Kenya's highlands to Tanzania's Lake Victoria shores...

The Mara River would seem to be pristine and unfettered as it runs from Kenya’s highlands to Tanzania’s Lake Victoria shores…

But its very critical source, The Mau Forest in Kenya, has been suffering devastation for years as industry – and local people needing wood – have cut down this forest.  The forest’s retention of water during the seasons of heavy rains plays a crucial role to the entire watershed.

The Mara River, fed by waters from the Mau Forest, nurtures iconic plains species that bring lucrative tourism and jobs; commercial and subsistence farmers; fisherman; and the ecosystems of its Lake Victoria terminus.

And perhaps most important, the Mara supplies drinking water to its inhabitants and their livestock, yet it can no longer be guaranteed to be clean, healthy water.

In NWNL’s expedition covering the length of the Mara River and in our interviews with many stakeholders and stewards en route, it became clear that education is the key.  Those who live in the Basin now must learn the upstream-downstream consequences of their water and forest usage, and why it is critical for tomorrow and future tomorrows to adjust their habits and practices to ensure the sustainability of livestock, flora, fauna and their own communities.

View NWNL’s video “The Mau Forest, Source of the Mara River” from the 2009 MRB expedition here.

United Nations Commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples

August 9, 2013

Today NWNL and NYC welcomes the arrival of Native Americans and Allies paddling from Albany to NYC along the Hudson River in the spirit of environmental responsibility.

The Two Row Wampum Renewal Campaign is a partnership between six Native American Haudenosaunee Nations (Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora) and the Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation (NOON). After paddling for 9 days, hundreds of canoers and kayakers expect to reach Pier 96 organized in 2 rows symbolizing “two peoples traveling side-by-side down the river of life in peace and friendship.” Their march from the pier to the United Nations is part of several events in a yearlong awareness campaign on indigenous and environmental issues.

Hickory Edwards of the Onondaga Nation is leading the pack and said, “I feel really close to the water. It’s life-giving, and to be so close to water is to be close to nature.” Read more about this story.

NWNL documentation in U.S., Canadian and African watersheds has shown that today’s Indigenous Peoples continue to be passionately-committed stewards of our river basins. Read NWNL’s interview with Ray Gardener, Chief of the Chinook Nation, as he shares his wisdom on the preservation of nature and culture and taking action.

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