Center for Mountain Studies & Climate Change

The university is located adjacent to the Mount Kenya Reserve, which hosts Mount Kenya – the highest Mountain in Kenya and the second-highest in Africa, after Kilimanjaro. It is also between two of the highest peaks in Kenya – Mount Kenya (5,199m) and Aberdares (3.999m).

This best places the university as a pioneer of Tropical Mountain studies. Since these Mountains (and other montane ecosystems of Kenya and the rest of the world) greatly influence the climatic conditions of their adjacent areas, Karatina University identified the Mountain Studies and Climate Change Centre (MSCCC) as a focal point for supporting research and policy guidelines in reference to Tropical Mountain Ecosystems and their role in Climate.

Projects

Modelling land cover changes and Carbon Emissions using FLINTpro

Through the Mountain Studies and Climate Change Centre (MSCCC), Karatina University received Ausi dollars 11,000 from the Mullion Group Pty Ltd (ABN 84 169 968 647) of 75 Hawkesbury Cres, (Australia) in January 2020 under the programme Modelling Kenya’s GHG emissions (FOLU) using the FLINTpro. The Mullion group (https://www.mulliongroup.com.au/about-us/) is an expert organization dealing with provision of innovative systems and advisory services for monitoring and forecasting the impacts of land management activities on production, greenhouse gas emissions, food security and sustainable development. The FLINTpro is an advanced modelling system (based on IPCC, complete land representation guidelines for GHG Inventories from the Lands Sector) that monitors time series land cover changes at pixel level and translates this into equivalent GHG emissions. The system that was initially piloted in Kenya under the System for Land based Emission Estimation for Kenya (SLEEK) is a great tool for decision making for Countries planning to reduce emissions from the land sector. Karatina University is proud to be associated with the Mullion Group.

Scholarships for Masters Students

The funds received from the Mullion Group were mainly used to support needy Masters Students though a partially Funded Scholarship programme. From a list of 15 applicants, 3 students were selected and each allocated a grant of K.Sh 209,337 to support their Masters Studies. The three students who are listed below and are undertaking a Master’s Programme in Environmental Studies have identified Topics in Mountain Studies and Climate Change for their Masters Theses Research

S. No

Name

Amount awarded (K.Sh)

Principal Criteria for award

1

Loise Wangui Kuria

209,337

1st Class Hons year 2019

2

Dennis Kipngetich

209,337

1st Class Hons year 2019

3

Benittes Kipyegon George

209,337

Leader Nature Club (Karatina University)

 

Mount Kenya Climbing Expedition

An expedition to get an in-depth understanding of the Mount Kenya Climbing route and requirements for a team climbing the mountain was done in February 2020. The Mountain Studies and climate Change Centre Financed costs of gate charges, hiring of tents and payment for porters.

A total of 31 participants were involved in the hike and comprised: Three lecturers from the School of Natural Resources and Environmental Studies, two support staff from the school of natural resources and Environmental studies, One staff from IT department of the University, Twenty two students, three non-students who are affiliate members of the University’s Nature Club.

On-Line Community- Based Measurement, Reporting and Verification System (MRV) on Carbon Emissions

The Mountain Studies and Climate Change Centre has partnering with the Green Belt Movement (GBM) and the Francis Allen Consulting to develop an On-Line Community- Based Measurement, Reporting and Verification System (MRV) on Carbon Emissions for Nakuru and Nandi Counties. This system spearheaded by the Green Belt Movement/International Climate Initiative fits into the National MRV system and is an ideal tool for Counties to identify effects of Climate Change adaptation and mitigation activities and meeting County targets under the Intentionally Determined Contributions (IDC) for GHG Emission Reduction. The University is proud to be associated with the Green Belt Movement and Kenya’s National GHG inventory process

Developing a Community based Carbon Monitoring Programme

The Centre for mountain studies and climate Change has partnered with Kenya Forest Service, The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the UN (FAO) and Kirisia Community Forest Associations in Samburu County to pilot a community based Carbon Monitoring system (GEF5 project). This involves training of Communities on standard forest inventory methods and converting the forest inventory data into /carbon contents of forests at different disturbance/conservation levels. This is an ideal project for the forest that has recently received a lot of Conservation and Rehabilitation attention.

Collaboration with Kenya Forestry Institute

Karatina University has partnered with Kenya Forestry Institute (KEFRI) to enhance research on Forestry. The two institutions have a history of supporting forestry research in Kenya and partnered with Kenya Forest Service in Developing the Biophysical Resource Assessment Manual for Forest Assessments (https://www.kefri.org/PDF/Publications/Kenya_FieldManual.pdf). KEFRI has been supporting the Forestry training at Karatina University through provision of expert trainers, provision of laboratory space and equipment and attachment/mentorship experiences for Karatina University Students

To further this experience, the two institutions have agreed on a collaboration path that will lead to among others; (i) Enhancement of Forest research, (ii) Joint resource mobilization programmes (iii) Improvement of the forestry training programme to meet current needs and align to technological changes (iv) Enhance awareness on forest conservation

Proposed collaboration to actualize the vision of the Mountain studies and Climate Change Centre

The Centre seeks collaboration with other institutions in Forestry, Carbon and Biomass assessments, Research, Environmental Management and Climate Change

Dr. Mwangi James Kinyanjui

Coordinator – Centre for Mountain Studies and Climate Change
  1. Coordinator – Centre for Mountain Studies and Climate Change
  2. Lecturer Karatina University – Forestry, Natural Resource Management, Geography