Kenya has a rich diversity of bird species and includes 60 Important Bird Areas. Some of the main threats to birds include deforestation, desertification, and  degradation of water quality and water pollution increased use of pesticides and fertilizers as well as from urban and industrial wastes.Paul Winter presented excerpts from the Flyways at the 2005 annual conference of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), at their headquarters in Nairobi. Paul’s performance was introduced by Klaus Topfer, Executive Director of UNEP. The audience included UNEP representatives from 70 countries, and numerous individuals working on environmental issues. Paul spoke of the inclusivist nature of the bird migrations, the allure that the beauty of the birds and the story of their migration has for people, and the potential for the Flyways to raise awareness about environmental issues and about preserving the natural world.

Paul Winter, Chris Berry, and Paul McCandless, Laikipia, 2006; photo by Nell Freeman

Paul Winter, Chris Berry, and Paul McCandless, Laikipia, 2006; photo by Nell Freeman

Also in 2005, Paul Winter presented a performance of music from Flyways at a festival on a wildlife preserve in Laikipia, overlooking the Great Rift Valley. The audience for this festival, presented by the Laikipia Nature Conservancy, included the Kenyan Minister of the Environment and many prominent people involved in environmental work in Africa, such as elephant biologists Iain Douglas-Hamilton and Cynthia Moss; officials of BirdLife International, and UNEP; the directors of the Sarakasi Trust, who provide opportunities in the arts for children from the Nairobi slums; ambassadors from numerous European, Middle Eastern, and African countries, based in embassies in Nairobi; musicians and performers from Nairobi and Europe; a 30-member group of Samburu tribesmen; and a variety of authors, photographers, and graphic artists who work with the indigenous people and wildlife of Africa, including Nigel Pavitt, Rodia Mann, Alan Donovan, Carlo Mari, David Coutson, Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher.

In 2006, Paul Winter returned to Laikipia to take part in the second international festival, with Justin Matu, Charles Busuulwa, Robert Ssimbwa and Isaac Zimbe from Uganda; and Chris Berry.

Our deep gratitude to all who collaborated with us and assisted us in Kenya.

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  • Kenya

    Size: 569,140 km²

    Human population: 40,512,682
    (World Bank, World Development Indicators, 2010)

    Bird species: 1,090
    Around 170 of these are Palearctic migrants and at least a further 60 are intra-Africa migrants. Some 230 species are entirely forest dependent and 110 require undisturbed habitat.

    Important Bird Areas: 60