von Jan Christian Habel & Beate Apfelbeck
Since the release of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment Report in 2005, aims of global nature conservation changed considerably (from the protection of rare species and ecosystems towards the protection of intact ecosystems to profit from ecosystem services). Particularly in the tropics, where human demographic pressure is high and ecosystems are fragile, the conservation of intact ecosystems is crucial to safeguard human livelihood needs (such as food security). In a current DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) funded Quality Network Biodiversity Kenya, students and scientists from TUM and Kenya work together and evaluate the status of different forest ecosystems in Kenya. However, nature conservation in the tropics is more than studying the ecology of endangered species and ecosystems, as we have to incorporate human livelihood needs. Therefore, the participants elaborate potential strategies to increase the quality of life of the local people, and to protect nature. To reach this aim, the quality Network brings together people from different research disciplines, such as the social sciences and natural sciences. In the last two years we have studied gallery forests in South Eastern Kenya and the coastal Arabuko-Sokoke forest. This year we will focus on the cloud forests in the Taita Hills. Please find more information on our approach and activities through the link below.