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Conservation and Society
An interdisciplinary journal exploring linkages between society, environment and development
Conservation and Society
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ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 130-140

Prosopis juliflora Invasion and Rural Livelihoods in the Lake Baringo Area of Kenya


1 Current affiliation: Center for International Development Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, 503A Rubenstein Building, 79 JFK Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA and Research undertaken at: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, PO Box 30677, GPO 000100, Nairobi, Kenya,
2 Research undertaken at: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, PO Box 30677, GPO 000100, Nairobi, Kenya,

Correspondence Address:
Brent Swallow
Research undertaken at: World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF), United Nations Avenue, PO Box 30677, GPO 000100, Nairobi, Kenya

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DOI: 10.4103/0972-4923.49207

Global concern about deforestation caused by fuelwood shortages prompted the introduction of Prosopis juliflora to many tropical areas in the 1970s and 1980s. P. juliflora is a hardy nitrogen-fixing tree that is now recognised as one of the world's most invasive alien species. The introduction and subsequent inva­sion of P. juliflora in the Lake Baringo area of Kenya has attracted national media attention and contra­dictory responses from responsible agencies. This paper presents an assessment of the livelihood effects, costs of control and local perceptions on P. juliflora of rural residents in the Lake Baringo area. Unlike some other parts of the world where it had been introduced, few of the potential benefits of P. juliflora have been captured and very few people realise the net benefits in places where the invasion is most ad­vanced. Strong local support for eradication and replacement appears to be well justified. Sustainable utilisation will require considerable investment and institutional innovation.


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