Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya
Edited by Anne-Marie Deisser and Mugwima Njuguna | October 2016
About the book
In Kenya, cultural and natural heritage has a particular value. Its pre-historic heritage not only tells the story of man's origin and evolution but has also contributed to the understanding of the earth's history: fossils and artefacts spanning over 27 million years have been discovered and conserved by the National Museums of Kenya (NMK). Alongside this, the steady rise in the market value of African art has also affected Kenya. Demand for African tribal art has surpassed that for antiquities of Roman, Byzantine, and Egyptian origin, and in African countries currently experiencing conflicts, this activity invariably attracts looters, traffickers and criminal networks.
This book brings together essays by heritage experts from different backgrounds, including conservation, heritage management, museum studies, archaeology, environment and social sciences, architecture and landscape, geography, philosophy and economics to explore three key themes: the underlying ethics, practices and legal issues of heritage conservation; the exploration of architectural and urban heritage of Nairobi; and the natural heritage, landscapes and sacred sites in relation to local Kenyan communities and tourism. It thus provides an overview of conservation practices in Kenya from 2000 to 2015 and highlights the role of natural and cultural heritage as a key factor of social-economic development, and as a potential instrument for conflict resolution.
About the editors
Anne-Marie Deisser is a conservator with extensive experience in Kenya, Ethiopia and Iraq. She is Research Associate at the Department of History and Archaeology of the University of Nairobi and Honorary Research Associate at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology, London. Her professional interest and publications focus on ethical conservation practices in relation to social development and human rights. Anne-Marie is an active contributor to conservation debate and, since 2012, a founding member of the Heritage Conservation and Human Rights Network (HCHR), based at the University of Nairobi.
Mugwima Njuguna is an architect and planner, and director of the Centre for Urban Studies at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. He is a founding member of the Heritage Conservation and Human Rights Network. He has extensively researched the conservation of historic sites and has published widely on this subject in both journals and books. Currently he is investigating the conservation of the railway heritage in Kenya.