Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 11, pp 2575–2590 | Cite as

Monitoring Important Bird Areas in Africa: Towards a Sustainable and Scaleable System

  • Leon Bennun
  • Paul Matiku
  • Ronald Mulwa
  • Solomon Mwangi
  • Paul Buckley
Article

Abstract

The need for effective global monitoring of biodiversity is clearer than ever, but our measurements remain patchy and inadequate. In the biodiversity-rich tropics, a central problem is the sustainability of monitoring schemes. Locally-based, participatory approaches show promise in overcoming this problem, but may not contribute effectively to monitoring at larger scales. BirdLife International’s framework for monitoring Important Bird Areas (IBAs) in Africa is designed to be simple, robust and locally-grounded, but to produce scaleable results that can be compiled into national or regional indices. Focusing on key sites for bird conservation, identified according to standard criteria, the framework institutionalises monitoring in site management authorities and Site Support Groups (community-based organisations of local people working for conservation and sustainable development). A small, central monitoring unit co-ordinates the programme nationally, compiles, analyses and manages data, and provides feedback. ‘Basic’ monitoring (taking place at all sites) involves scoring of state, pressure and response trends using site information submitted on simple forms. ‘Detailed’ monitoring (taking place at a selected sub-set of sites) involves more intensive measurement of particular variables that relate to site management targets. IBA monitoring is now underway in at least 10 African countries, with implementation of the framework most advanced (thanks to a pilot project) in Kenya. The 2004 IBA monitoring report for Kenya provides extensive information on individual IBAs, plus indices for national trends in state, pressure and response, based on data from 49 out of 60 sites. The experience in Kenya shows that institutionalisation is vital, but takes considerable time and effort; that adequate co-ordination (including timely feedback) is key; and that participatory monitoring has many valuable benefits beyond the data collected. Further work is being undertaken to refine the process, improve its scientific underpinning, and strengthen the feedback loop from data and analysis to action on the ground.

Key words

Institutionalisation Kenya Key biodiversity area Locally-based monitoring Participatory monitoring Site Support Group 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Andrianandrasana, H., Randriamahefasoa, J., Durbin, J., Lewis, R., Ratzimbazafy, J. 2005Participatory ecological monitoring of the Alaotra wetland in MadagascarBiodivers. Conserv.1427572774Google Scholar
  2. Arinaitwe, J. 2003IBA Monitoring in Africa. Proceedings of the IBA Monitoring Workshop, Naivasha 6–8 August 2003BirdLife InternationalNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  3. Balmford, A., Green, R.E., Jenkins, M. 2003Measuring the changing state of natureTrends Ecol. Evol.18326330CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bennun, L.A. 2001Long-term monitoring and the conservation of tropical wetlands: high ideals and harsh realitiesHydrobiologia458919CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bennun, L. 2002Monitoring Important Bird Areas in Africa. A Regional FrameworkBirdLife InternationalCambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  6. Bennun, L., Njoroge, P. 1999Important Bird Areas in KenyaNature KenyaNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  7. BirdLife International.2004aState of the World’s Birds: Indicators for our Changing WorldBirdLife InternationalCambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  8. BirdLife International.2004bWorking Together for Birds and People. Delivering Solutions for our Changing WorldBirdLife InternationalCambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  9. Danielsen, F., Mendoza, M.M., Alviola, P., Balete, D.S., Enghoff, M., Poulsen, M.K., Jensen, A.E. 2003Biodiversity monitoring in developing countries: what are we trying to achieve?Oryx37407409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Danielsen, F., Jensen, A.E., Alviola, P.A., Balete, D.S., Mendoza, M.M., Tagtag, A., Custodio, C., Enghoff, M. 2005Does monitoring matter? A quantitative assessment of management decisions from locally-based monitoring of protected areasBiodivers. Conserv.1426332652Google Scholar
  11. Dodman, T. 1997A Preliminary Waterbird Monitoring Strategy for Africa. Wetlands International Publication 43Wetlands InternationalWageningen, The NetherlandsGoogle Scholar
  12. Roberts, R.L., Donald, P.F., Fischer, I.J. 2005Project Kagu: developing a web-based data collection system for the global monitoring of bird distribution and abundanceBiodivers. Conserv.1428072820Google Scholar
  13. Eken G., Bennun L., Brooks T.M., Darwall W., Fishpool L.D.C., Foster M., Knox D., Langhammer P., Matiku P., Radford E., Salaman P., Sechrest W., Smith M.L., Spector S. and Tordoff A. Key biodiversity areas as site conservation targets. BioScience 54: 1110–1118.Google Scholar
  14. Fishpool, L.D.C.Evans, M. eds. 2000Important Bird Areas in Africa and Associated Islands: Priority Sites for Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series 11Pisces Publications, BirdLife InternationalNewbury, UK, Cambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  15. Gray, M., Kalpers, J. 2005Ranger-based monitoring in the Virunga-Bwindi region of East-Central Africa: a simple data collection tool for park managementBiodivers. Conserv.1427232741Google Scholar
  16. Gregory, R.D., Noble, D., Field, R., Marchant, J., Raven, M., Gibbons, D.W. 2003Using birds as indicators of biodiversityOrnis Hungarica12–131124Google Scholar
  17. Muchai, M., Lens, L., Bennun, L. 2002aHabitat selection and conservation of Sharpe’s Longclaw (Macronyx sharpei), a threatened Kenyan grassland endemicBiol. Conserv.105271277CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Muchai, M., Bennun, L.A., Lens, L., Rayment, M., Pisano, G. 2002bLand-use and the conservation of Sharpe’s Longclaw Macronyx sharpei in central KenyaBird Conserv. Int.12107121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Ndang’ang’a, P.K., du Plessis, M.A., Ryan, P.G., Bennun, L.A. 2002Grassland decline in Kinangop PlateauKenya: implications for conservation of Sharpe’s Longclaw (Macronyx sharpei)Biol. Conserv.107341350CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ng’weno, F.Otieno, N.Matiku, P. eds. 2004Kenya’s Important Bird Areas: Status and Trends 2004Nature KenyaNairobi, KenyaGoogle Scholar
  21. OECD.2001The DAC Guidelines: Poverty ReductionOrganisation for Economic Development and Co-operationParis, FranceGoogle Scholar
  22. Poulsen, M.K., Luanglath, K. 2005Projects comeprojects go: lessons from participatory monitoring in southern LaosBiodivers. Conserv.1425912610Google Scholar
  23. Pretty, J., Smith, D. 2004Social capital in biodiversity conservation and managementConserv. Biol.18631638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Rijsoort, J., Jinfeng, Z. 2005Participatory resource monitoring as a means for sense-making and social change in Yunnan, P.R. ChinaBiodivers. Conserv.1425432573Google Scholar
  25. Royal Society.2003Measuring Biodiversity for Conservation. Policy Document 11/03Royal SocietyLondon, UKGoogle Scholar
  26. Saterson, K.A., Christensen, N.L., Jackson, R.B., Kramer, R.A., Pimm, S.L., Smith, M.D., Wiener, J.B. 2004Disconnects in evaluating the relative effectiveness of conservation strategiesConserv. Biol.18597599CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sheil, D. 2001Conservation and biodiversity monitoring in the tropics: realities, priorities and distractionsConserv. Biol.1511791182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Stattersfield, A.J., Crosby, M.J., Long, A.J., Wege, D.C. 1998Endemic Bird Areas of the world. Priorities for Conservation. BirdLife Conservation Series No. 7BirdLife InternationalCambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  29. Topp-Jørgensen, E., Poulsen, M.K., Lund, J.F., Massao, J.F. 2005Community-based monitoring of natural resource use and forest quality in montane forests and miombo woodlands in Iringa DistrictTanzaniaBiodivers. Conserv.1426532677Google Scholar
  30. United Nations.2000Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly. 55/2 Millennium DeclarationUnited NationsNew York, USAGoogle Scholar
  31. United Nations.2002World Summit on Sustainable Development: Johannesburg Plan ImplementationUnited NationsNew York, USAGoogle Scholar
  32. Uychiaoco, A.J., Arceo, H.O., Green, S.J., Cruz, M.T., Gaite, P.A., Aliño, P.M. 2005Monitoring and evaluation of reef protected areas by local fishers in the Philippines: tightening the adaptive management cycleBiodivers. Conserv.1427752794Google Scholar
  33. Yoccoz, N.G., Nichols, J.D., Boulinier, T. 2001Monitoring of biological diversity in space and timeTrends Ecol. Evol.16446453CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leon Bennun
    • 1
    • 3
  • Paul Matiku
    • 2
  • Ronald Mulwa
    • 3
  • Solomon Mwangi
    • 2
  • Paul Buckley
    • 4
  1. 1.BirdLife InternationalCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Nature KenyaNairobiKenya
  3. 3.National Museums of KenyaNairobiKenya
  4. 4.Royal Society for the Protection of BirdsSandy, Beds.UK

Personalised recommendations