the republic of Kenya remains the center for east African trade and finance and is a world-renown destination for tourism. It is also beset by multiple, interrelated environmental concerns, including climate change, a rapidly growing human population, and a significant decline in flora and non-human fauna.
Straddling the Equator, Kenya is comprised of 225,000 sq. mi. (582,650 sq. km.) of diverse landscapes. These include wide, sandy beaches and coral reefs along the Indian Ocean coast in the southeast; the eastern African plateau and its semi-arid plains; the Rift Valley, with freshwater and saltwater lakes surrounded by fertile uplands; northern deserts flanked by Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia; southern grasslands that blend into neighboring Tanzania; and, in the west, a portion of Lake Victoria, as well as densely farmed highlands that run partly along the border with Uganda. Mt. Kenya's glacier-capped peaks top out at 17, 057 ft. (5,199 m.) above sea level, making it the second tallest mountain in Africa after Tanzania's Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Over the past century, both Mt. Kenya and Mt. Kilimanjaro have experienced marked recessions in the thickness of their glaciers, as well as the output of melt water absorbed by other landscapes and their inhabitants.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, sub-Saharan Africa is most vulnerable to projected changes due to global warming because widespread poverty and reliance on small-scale, rain-fed agriculture limit adaptation capabilities. Kenya has a population of 35 million, over half of whom live below the international poverty line. Although tourism and manufacturing contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product, the Kenyan economy relies heavily on export-oriented agriculture, with chief cash crop exports including water-intensive and climate-sensitive cut flowers, tea, and coffee. Nearly 75 percent of Kenya's labor force engages in agriculture and livestock production. More than 80 percent of Kenyan land is classified as arid or semi-arid, and 30 percent of its population and more than half of its livestock reside there. Only 5-8 percent of Kenya's
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