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LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies

Dr Nathalie Richards - From the Mau Forest to Lake Victoria: The Journey of the Mara River in East Africa


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Dr Nathalie Richards - From the Mau Forest to Lake Victoria: The Journey of the Mara River in East Africa

The Mara River starts its journey in the Mau forest in Kenya, flowing through diverse waterscapes and famous savannahs into Tanzania, where it reaches the Mara wetland system before spilling into Lake Victoria. The landscapes surrounding the Mara River are shaped by the seasonality of its flows. Its exceptional flora and fauna follow the rhythm of water availability, and human inhabitants have adapted to and influenced the ecosystem services provided by the local environment. For millennia and more intensively in the past centuries, different peoples have been inspired by the river ecosystem to give meaning, and create culture and livelihoods adapted to their environment. In the Mau forest where the Mara River starts its journey, the Ogieks have been protecting trees providing sources to the river; in the savannahs of the current Maasai Mara and Serengeti, Maasai people have been living in harmony with wildlife, adopting a nomadic lifestyle; in the Wetlands of the Mara, fishing communities regulate practice rituals linked to the landscape of the lower Mara.

Threats to the Mara River have been increasing and affecting the quality and quantity of river flows. Climate change, colonisation, land tenure changes, intensification of agricultural and fishing methods, increased human pollution, and a lack of governance are some of the main causes of the degradation of the river. Current efforts are addressing governance, improving monitoring of flows and allocation of water, with the objective of improving the environmental, economic and social sustainability of the Mara River Basin.


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    Date de réalisation : 20 Janvier 2021
    Durée du programme : 22 min
    Classification Dewey : Sociologie et anthropologie
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    Catégorie : Conférences
    Niveau : Tous publics / hors niveau
    Disciplines : Sciences de la société
    Collections : Managing riverscapes and flow regimes for biocultural diversity
    ficheLom : Voir la fiche LOM
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    Langue : Anglais
    Mots-clés : river, environmental health
    Conditions d’utilisation / Copyright : LE STUDIUM
 

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