Bamburi’s environmental conservation efforts range from quarry rehabilitation, biodiversity management to dedicated efforts at protection and conservation of endangered species – work driven by its environmental arm Lafarge Eco Systems
By Linda Sogot, Biodiversity & Information Officer – Lafarge Eco Systems
In line with LafargeHolcim’s sustainability ambitions, Lafarge Eco Systems continues to action Bamburi Cement’s commitment in the conservation of both terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity through quarry rehabilitation, ecosystems development and biodiversity conservation.
The month of May in Bamburi quarry ecosystems is one full of actions connecting Bamburi’s Sustainability efforts with the rest of the world through environmental and conservation actions. In this particular month these activities included celebrating World Migratory Day on 8th May, Endangered Species Day on 21st May, and International Day for Species Diversity on 22nd May.
#World Migratory Day, 8th May
On 8th May 2021, Lafarge Eco Systems (LES) took part in the international celebration of world migratory birds by participating in the global bird count exercise. LES mobilized staff and local birders from Friends of Fort Jesus as well as students from the Technical University of Mombasa (TUM) on a day full of walking and observing birds that occur in the Bamburi reserve lands and rehabilitated forests of Bamburi Haller Park, Bamburi Forest Trails and Nguuni Sanctuary.
Of the 292 bird species known to occur in Bamburi’s sites, 96 were recorded on that day including 22 migratory species which migrate to Kenya from other parts of Africa and the world, while 2 are listed as Threatened in the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data List.
The contribution from LES/Bamburi, helped Kenya to top Africa emerging in 7th position globally in the world competition having recorded a total of 845 birds with most birds recorded in Rift Valley and Coast. LES was the lead agency here at the Coast.
World Migratory Day is celebrated every year to highlight the need to conserve and protect migratory birds and their habitats. Migratory birds are symbols of peace and of an interconnected planet as they connect people, ecosystems and nations. Their epic journey inspire people of all ages, across the globe. Throughout their migration, these birds face various threats, from habitat loss to illegal killing, most of them being human-caused such as pollution. Statistics indicate that over 40% of long-distance migrants in the African-Eurasian flyway have shown signs of decline over the last three decades and of these, 10% are classified by Birdlife as Globally Threatened or Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.
#Endangered Species Day, 21st May and
#International Day for Biological Diversity, 22nd May
On the 21st and 22nd May, 2021, Bamburi team participated in a series of activities to celebrate the Endangered Species Day and International Day for Biological Diversity respectfully.
LES staff engaged in thorough eradication of terrestrial and aquatic plant weeds from the restored ecosystems at Bamburi Forest Trails and planted useful plants to support the emerging ecosystem at the Great Lakes region. The team also cleaned Tui pond to mitigate eutrophication and other natural disturbances while stimulating aquatic biota in the ponds enhancing aesthetics and usability. A team of staff led by the Chief Operating Officer Peter Mbaru, engaged staff and contractors in massive collection of garbage dumped along the North Quarry walls by residents of unplanned settlement across the ecosystems. The garbage finds its way into the ecosystem affecting the wellbeing of biological species that depend on our forest resources.
Celebration of Endangered Species Day and International Day for Biological Diversity recognizes the animals around the world most in need of protection and conservation efforts. Currently, there are more than 31,000 species of plants, fungi and animals that are threatened with extinction including 41% amphibians, 33% reef building corals, 25% mammals and 14% birds. Species are assigned to various categories based on the level of threat. This list informs policy and conventions, guide scientific research, inform conservation planning, education and awareness to contribute to human health and livelihoods.
Bamburi’s rehabilitated ecosystems and reserve lands, supports over 47 species threatened (T) globally and additional 25 species Near Threatened (NT). Globally, the population of these species are recorded to decline at an alarming rate that calls for active protection and conservation. Among these include, Common Hippo, Oryx, Royal Palm, Madagascar Pond Heron, Aldabra tortoise and Bateleur.
Our initiatives in conservation are a major contribution to the LafargeHolcim’s sustainability ambition and as well as milestone contribution to United Nations global Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
Lafarge Eco Systems is the environmental arm of Bamburi Cement Ltd, whose operations are in sustainable land use and quarry rehabilitation.