According to the environmental courts act in Kenya, environment means the totality of nature and natural resources, including the cultural heritage and infrastructure essential for social-economic activities (environmental and land court act, 2011). The environment ca also be defined as the biotic and a biotic surrounding of an organism, or population, and includes particularly the factors that have an influence in their survival, development and evolution Environmental resource management is “a purposeful activity with the goal to maintain and improve the state of an environmental resource affected by human activities. It is not, as the phrase suggests, the management of the environment as such, but rather the management of the interaction and impact of human societies on the environment. Environmental resources management aims to ensure that ecosystem services are protected and maintained for equitable use by future human generations, and also, maintain ecosystem integrity as an end in itself by taking into consideration ethical, economic, and scientific (ecological) variables. Environmental resource management tries to identify the factors that have a stake in the conflicts that may rise between meeting the needs and protecting the resources. A policy may be defined as a principle or rule to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes. An environmental policy therefore is a principle or rule that guides decisions to achieve rational outcomes in matters pertaining to the environment.
The natural resources, all over the world are coming under increasing pressure to support a population that is increasing at a very high rate. As a result, the resources are being depleted at an alarming rate, which leads to the implication that unless urgent conservatory measures are taken, the resources will not be able to keep up. This has brought into the attention of scholars’ world wide that under the current rate of depletion of the natural resources, most of them will either entirely vanish or simply not be able to sustain life for the future generations. As a result, there are call for the sustainable exploitation of resources and the conservation of those that are not renewable so that the future generations can also benefit from them and enjoy their aesthetic value. The environmental issues that emerged in Kenya as a result of this over exploitation and pressure on the natural resources were mainly felt in: Water resources
Water resources are under pressure from agricultural chemicals and urban and industrial wastes, as well as from use for hydroelectric power. Kenya expects a shortage of water to pose a problem in the coming years. Water-quality problems in lakes, including water hyacinth infestation in Lake Victoria and now in Lake Naivasha, have contributed to a substantial decline in fishing output and endangered fish species. Forestry
Output from forestry also has declined because of resource degradation. Overexploitation over the past three decades has reduced the country’s timber resources by one-half. At present only 2% of the land remains forested, and an estimated 50 square kilometers of forest are lost each year. This loss of forest aggravates erosion, the silting of dams and flooding, and the loss of biodiversity. Among the endangered forests are Kakamega Forest, Mau Forest and Karura Forest. In response to ecological disruption, activists have pressed with some success for policies that encourage sustainable resource use. The 2004 Nobel Peace Prize went to the Kenyan environmentalist, Wangari Maathai, best known for organizing a grassroots movement in which thousands of people were mobilized over the years to plant 30 million trees in Kenya and elsewhere and to protest forest clearance for luxury development. Maathai linked deforestation with the plight of rural women, who are forced to spend untold hours in search of scarce firewood and water. Wildlife
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