Thursday, October 18, 2018

STATEMENT BY PROF. JUDI WAKHUNGU, CABINET SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, ON RESULTS OF ELEPHANT, BUFFALO, GIRAFFE AND GREVY’S ZEBRA COUNTED IN FIVE KEY ECOSYSTEMS IN 2016 AND 2017. 

 

CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu reads the statement at KWS headquarters

DATE- 22ND DECEMBER 2017

Kenya hosts a precious Natural Resource heritage, including wildlife that is the back born of Tourism development and also providing significant support to community livelihoods.

In order to facilitate sustainable conservation and management of our wildlife, monitoring populations is a major prerequisite in accordance to international standards and the Wildlife act, 2013.

In this regard, Kenya has been updating its Wildlife population in line with the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013. The act requires my Ministry to submit to the National Assembly, a Wildlife Resources Monitoring Report and avail it to the Public, at least every five years.

In addition, the information generated, is also used to prepare a National Wildlife Conservation Status Report, for submission to National Assembly after every two years.

My Ministry has been undertaking aerial surveys in savannah ecosystems of Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit, Meru Conservation Area and Mwea National Reserve, whereas ground surveys using the dung count method have been carried out in forested ecosystems of Aberdare Forest, Mau Forest Complex  and Mount Kenya Forest. These surveys are undertaken after every 3-5 years.

The wildlife survey results I am announcing today are for Laikipia-Samburu-Meru-Marsabit Ecosystem, Mwea National Reserve, Aberdare Conservation Area, Mau Forest Complex and Mount Kenya Forest, as follows:

  1. AERIAL TOTAL SURVEY OF ELEPHANTS, BUFFALOES, GREVY’S ZEBRA AND GIRAFFE IN THE LAIKIPIA-SAMBURU-MERU-MARSABIT ECOSYSTEM (NOVEMBER, 2017)

The 2017 wet season aerial survey was carried out between November 19, 2017 and December 2, 2017. The surveyed area was about 61816km2.

During the census, a total of 7347 elephants were counted compared to 6454 elephants in 2012. Out of these 7166 and 181 elephants were counted in Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem and Marsabit ecosystem compared to 6365 and 89 elephants in 2012 respectively. There was an increase of elephant population in Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit ecosystems by12% over the last five years, from 2012-2017. This represents an annual increase of about 2.4% over the period.

In the Marsabit ecosystem, the population of elephants increased by 51%, with the total number of elephants in 2012 being 89 while in 2017 the total number now stands at 181 elephants.

In Laikipia-Samburu ecosystem, the elephant population increased by 11% with the year 2012 recording a total of 6365 elephants while in 2017 the total number stands at 7,166 elephants. This translates to about 2.2% annual increase of elephants between 2012 and 2017 in the area.

A total of 76 elephant carcasses were recorded during the survey. The ‘very old’ elephant carcasses had the highest proportion with more than 75% (n=57) of the total carcasses, followed by old carcasses at 25% (n=19). Overall, there was about 1% (0.01) carcass ratio for the Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit ecosystem. There were no fresh or recent carcasses recorded during the survey.

The population of buffaloes counted in Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit ecosystem during the November 2017 census was 4499, which is about 10% increase compared to 4069 buffaloes recorded in the same ecosystem in 2012.

The 2017 Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit ecosystem aerial survey indicated that the ecosystem supports a large number of giraffes totaling 4223 giraffe compared to 2839 giraffes counted in 2012 census.

Further, the 2017 aerial survey in Laikipia-Samburu-Marsabit ecosystem recorded 1621 Grevy’s zebra compared to 1897 and 2400 Grevy’s Zebra counted during the 2012 and 2008 census.

I am therefore happy to announce that the annual rate of Grevy’s Zebra decline has slowed down from about 5% between 2008 and 2012 to 3% between 2012 and 2017. This implies that conservation efforts that my Ministry has put in place through Kenya Wildlife Service and Other Conservation Partners, is for an increase in future. I am happy we are winning in saving this endangered species.

A total of 674 elephants were counted in Meru Conservation Area (MCA) compared to 659 elephants counted in 2015. This represents an increase of about 2% in two years. A total of 19 elephant carcasses (14 old and 5 very old) were recorded during the survey compared to 34 carcasses (1 fresh, 1 recent, 27 old and 5 very old) recorded in 2014. Further, 2711 buffaloes were counted in MCA in 2017 compared to 1663 counted in November 2014, which represents a 39% increase in three years. Other species recorded during the survey in MCA were giraffe (888 animals compared to 894 in 2014) and Grevy’s zebra (6 animals compared to 9 in 2014).

  1. AERIAL TOTAL COUNT OF ELEPHANTS, BUFFALOES AND GIRAFFES IN THE MWEA NATIONAL RESERVE (OCTOBER, 2017)

A total of 125 elephants were counted during the survey compared to 82 elephants counted in 2012. This gives an elephant density of 3 elephants/km2 compared to a density of 2 elephants/km2 reported in 2012.

A total of 3 old elephant carcasses were recorded. Majority of the elephant carcases were within the dry valleys.

A total of 200 buffaloes compared to 32 in 2012 were recorded in the reserve, giving a density of 4.8 individuals per square kilometre.

The high density of elephants requires immediate interventions through translocation to mitigate their impacts on habitat and reduce their chances of getting out of the fenced reserve to cause human-elephant conflicts.

  1. ELEPHANTS SURVEY IN ABERDARE ECOSYSTEM, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2017

The estimated elephant density in the Aberdare landscape was 2.25 elephants/km2, which translates to an estimate of 3,939 elephants, compared to 3540 elephants in 2005. I am happy to report to you that this population is healthy and has been increasing.

  1. 4. ELEPHANT SURVEY IN MAU FOREST COMPLEX, SEPTEMBER 2016

The estimated elephant density was 0.45 elephants/km2, which translates to about 652 elephants. The last survey of elephants in the Forest Complex was carried out in 1995 and recorded about 1,003 animals. This translated to a reduction of 351 elephants, which is about 35% decrease in 22 years.  Elephants were limited to 5 forest blocks (Southern tip of Western Mau, South Western Mau, Trans-Mara, Olpusimoru and the Maasai Mau in areas estimated to be 1458km2.

Four elephant carcasses were recorded during the survey. Three of the carcasses were located in Trans-Mara forest block. One of the three carcasses found in this forest block was fresh.

My Ministry accords priority to the five blocks with elephants as we put measures in place to sustainably conserve the Mau Forest Complex.

  1. ELEPHANT SURVEY in MOUNT KENYA FOREST, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2016

The estimated elephant density for Mount Kenya Forest was 1.28 elephants/km2, which translates to about 2579 elephants, compared to 2911 elephants in 2001. Only three elephant carcasses were recorded during the survey. Most elephant signs were found in the North-East (Imenti area) and the South-East (Sagana area) of the Forest.

I am aware that both the savannah and forested ecosystems are facing the challenges of illegal tree logging, livestock incursions, charcoal burning, bush-meat, medium size snares and elephant traps.

In this respect, let me point out that carrying out of Wildlife census is a very expensive exercise that requires a lot of resources and expertise. We are grateful for the support provided by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Department of Resource Surveys and Remote Sensing (DRSRS), Save the Elephants, Laikipia Wildlife Forum, Mpala Research Centre, BornFree Foundation, Giraffe Conservation Foundation, Marwell Wildlife, Space for Giants, Loisaba Conservancy, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Northern Rangeland Trust and private Pilots towards the aerial surveys whereas the forest ground surveys were supported by Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Mount Kenya Trust, Rhino Ark, Kenya Forest Service (KFS), Bongo Surveillance Project (BSP) and Disney’s Reverse The Decline (RTD).

As I conclude, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources through Kenya Wildlife Service will continue to work with other government agencies and departments as well as conservation NGOS, Development partners, Communities and County governments to provide short and long term measures to promote sustainable conservation of Kenya’s Wildlife.

Lastly, I now call upon the KWS Board of trustees and the management, to come up with a clear road map of implementing the recommendations provided through this census.

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CS,Prof. Judi Wakhungu officiating during the KAM-PET sector clean-up exercise at Uhuru Park

The Government of Kenya is committed to honouring efforts to prevent, mitigate and manage pollution, which harms people’s health, societies, ecosystems and security, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

Speaking when she presided over the PET Sector clean-up drive at Uhuru Park, Nairobi, Prof. Wakhungu stated that, the Ministry’s willingness to take on pollution head on, proves that public actions make a big difference, and with the ban of the manufacture, sale or use of carrier and flat plastic bags, the nation has made great strides towards environmental conservation.

Noting that the clean-up exercise was in line with the industry’s commitment to manage solid waste in the country as a global best-practice Prof. Wakhungu commended the Kenya Association of Manufacturers role in championing and executing environmental conservation strategies, stating that, their efforts and proactive nature cannot be gainsaid.

The clean-up exercise, that was undertaken by the Ministry of  Environment and Natural Resources, KAM and the Nairobi County Government, aims to among other things, sensitize the public on the importance of appropriate waste disposal and the negative impacts of littering PET materials to the environment, while at the same time, proposing a take-back model, that will address the challenge of PET disposal, by developing a take-back scheme that looks at managing the waste through recycling, while at the same time providing sustainable jobs to citizens.

The Kenya Association of Manufactures, has adopted the successful PETCO South Africa model, which runs an industry driven and financed environmental solution for post-consumer PET plastic. The model provides a solution for post-consumer plastic packaging which is critical in minimizing its impact on the environment.

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Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu delivers a speech at Boma hotel in Eldoret,Uasin Gishu County during the opening of a workshop for sensitization and planning for conditional grants to Counties for the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation (WaTER) Programme.

The Government is implementing a program dubbed the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation (WaTER) programme, which will offer opportunities to communities to participate in the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources alongside improving their livelihoods.

Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu yesterday said the programme which is categorized into four components will enable communities to earn a better living while at the same time conserving natural resources, both directly and indirectly.

“While all these components are important towards the achievement of the programme objective, the most important component is the Result Area 3 which gives the community an opportunity to participate in the conservation and sustainable use of natural resources in addition to improving their livelihoods, “She said.

Prof Wakhungu was speaking in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County during the opening of a workshop for sensitization and planning for conditional grants to Counties for the Water Towers Protection and Climate Change Mitigation (WaTER) Programme.

The Cabinet Secretary called on County governments to encourage residents to take advantage of the opportunity offered by the programme to improve their livelihood as well as participate in conservation of Natural resources.

“It is expected that Counties will mobilize communities to come up with action plans which will be funded through the counties’ component funds,” She added.

Prof Wakhungu further said that the programme will also support Kenya in eradicating poverty through enhanced productivity of ecosystem services of Mt. Elgon and Cherangany Hills beside improving resilience to climate change through sustainable management of water resources.

She said the Government, through the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, with the support of the European Union will invest in two ecosystems for four years through the WaTER Programme.

The target areas include degraded hotspots, farms and urban areas in river basins linked to Mt. Elgon and Cherangany Hills ecosystems.

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The CS Prof. Judi Wakhungu flanked by PS Mwakima and KFS board of Directors Peter Kinyua display copies of the Strategic plan during its launch at Karura.

A decree has been put in place to address challenges emanating from forest destruction due to human activities across the Country, Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said.

Prof Wakhungu, while officiating the launch of Kenya Forest Service 3rd Strategic Plan (2017-2022) at Kenya Forest Service Headquarters (KFS), in Karura said her Ministry has enacted a Forest Conservation and Management Act 2016 to deal with the challenges in the forest sector.

The law, she said will in addition to the National Forest Programme (NFP) guide development of the Forest Sector for the next fifteen years (2016-2030).

The Cabinet Secretary further said the document has identified programmes, projects and strategies that will be implemented for the forestry sector.

Prof Wakhungu said a sizeable number of forests across the Country were under destruction, causing decline in the supply of environmental goods and services.

“For the Forests to continue giving sufficient goods and services, they must be well protected and managed. This has not been the case in our Country as most of our forests, including the water towers are heavily degraded. The supply of environmental goods and services has declined and the country is experiencing serious negative impacts “, said the Cabinet Secretary.

She said forest destruction has led to decline in food productivity, biodiversity, reduced water flows and adverse effects arising from climate change.

“The critical role of the five water towers has also been appreciated and their restoration and conservation has been prioritized”, Prof Wakhungu further added.

The Cabinet Secretary was accompanied by among others State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima, KFS Chief Conservator Emilio Mugo and Kenya Research Institute Director Ben Chikamai.

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Kenya is proud to have hosted a very successful United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) 3 Conference where the world committed to achieve a pollution free planet in air, land, water and marine ecosystems.

For the first time at UNEA, Environment Ministers signed a Declaration on sustainable use of natural resources and a pollution free planet.

Delegates and participants attending the assembly hailed Kenya’s plastic carrier bag ban that came to effect last August. The ban followed a gazette notice by Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu and is being enforced by the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

During the assembly, Prof. Wakhungu said “the Plastic waste is already choking our water bodies & Oceans. It is estimated that by 2050 we will have more plastic in oceans than fish. Livestock, fish, turtles, & seabirds, for example, are ingesting plastic with tragic results. We must also continue to address chemical pollution & e-waste. Most importantly we must all commit to circular economy practices. We must all act responsibly.”

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Kenya  is hosting the  third session of the United  Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 3), the  highest decision making body  on environment in the  whole  world  from 4-6 December, 2017 in Nairobi.  It is important to note  that Kenya   also   hosted  the    1st and   2nd   UNEA in  2014  and 2016   respectively.  This   will be the  first high – level global meeting that H.E the President of the  Republic  of Kenya  will be addressing in his second term and  it  is  a  great honor for  Kenya  to be  granted this privilege  of  hosting the   3rd UNEA…..read more

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The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has received funding from UNEP through the Africa Institute to develop the Kenya National Action Plan for Artisanal Small-scale Gold Mining in Migori, Narok and Kakamega counties which have gold exploration in small scale. The project will run for two (2) years with co-financing from the Ministry and will require a Project Assistant to support the technical team.

TERMS OF REFERENCE FOR THE PROJECT ASSISTANT POSITION

Duties and Responsibilities

The role of the Project Assistant will be to assist the National Project Coordinator in the implementation of the project. Specific responsibilities of the Project Assistant are as described below:

  1. The Project Assistant’s administrative role will consist of regularly monitoring the progress of the project, appraising the performance of national consultants in collaboration with the Lead National Consultant, preparing recommendations to the steering committee;
  2. Identifying and mobilizing relevant stakeholders including local communities to participate in the Project activities;
  3. Assisting the National Project Coordinator to convene and facilitate steering committee meetings;
  4. Assisting the National Project Coordinator to organize workshops, retreats and other stakeholder consultations;
  5. Assisting project consultants in carrying out their assignments by facilitating interaction and contacts with government and other organizations and institutions;
  6. Preparing minutes of project steering committee meetings;
  7. Assisting the National Project Coordinator and the Lead National Consultant in preparation of the project’s quarterly, biannual, annual and terminal reports.

Qualifications:

The Project Assistant should have the following qualifications:

  1. Have a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, or Biological Sciences, Environmental Sciences or related subjects.
  2. He/she should have field experience in Project Management and Planning processes related to Chemicals or Mercury Management and/or Community Mobilization;
  3. Excellent communication and writing skills;
  4. Experience in the coordination of stakeholder consultation activities;
  5. Administrative experience;
  6. Experience in the organization and facilitation of workshops;
  7. Basic computer skills; and
  8. Experience in working with or mobilizing local communities will be an added advantage.

 

The contact shall be for the two (2) years of the Project’s duration.

Interested and qualified persons are requested to make their applications and submit them to:

 

The Principal Secretary

Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

State Department of Environmen

P. O. Box 30126-00100

NAIROBI.

OR

Hand deliver their applications to the State Department of Environment, NHIF Building, 13TH Floor Registry on or before 12th January,2018.

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From left CS Judi Wakhungu,US Ambassador Robert Godec and Acting Director General KWS Julius Kimani display a Wildlife Conservation Status Report after the launch at KWS headquarters in Nairobi.

A Wildlife Conservancy Status Report, which outlines a consolidated summary of the progress made by Conservancies in contributing to conservation of wildlife and community livelihoods in line with the 2010 Constitution, has been launched.

While officiating the inauguration of the report at Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters in Nairobi, Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu said conservancies represent a key opportunity for securing wildlife on community lands and also for protecting wildlife dispersal areas and corridors.

Prof. Wakhungu described the report as a step forward towards the preparation of the National Wildlife Status Report as envisaged under section 50 and 109 of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.

“Conservancy model in the country has gained global recognition for positively impacting communities and protecting biodiversity and that is why my Ministry has been focusing on laying a strong policy and legal foundation for the growth of wildlife conservancies across the nation” she added.

Wakhungu said conservancies have demonstrated their effectiveness of being potential for the development of communities in the far flung areas where wildlife is often seen as an opportunity to offer benefits beyond conserving wildlife. A good example is the Masai Mara landowners who currently earn a monthly income from land leased to conservancies”, she said.

The Cabinet Secretary further said her Ministry is developing the Country’s first ever National Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy in order to enhance the contribution of conservancies to Kenya’s conservation agenda.

She noted that 160 conservancies, spread across 28 counties have doubled conservation space by adding some 6.4 million hectares of land to the country’s conservation estate.

Wakhungu added that the Aichi Target 11 requires member states to conserve 17 percent of terrestrial and 10 percent of marine landscape by 2020. “I am happy to pronounce that, coupled with our National Parks and Reserves, conservancies which are recognized in law, will contribute to Kenya in attaining this international target especially for terrestrial landscape,” She further said.

CS called on County governments, conservation Stakeholders and development partners to increase their level of technical and financial support to the growing network of community conservancies.

The conservation report was prepared by the Kenya Wildlife Conservancy Association (KWCA), an umbrella body with legal mandate to support the growth of conservancies in the Country.

Also present at the launch were United States of America Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec, KWCA Chief Executive Officer Dickson Kaelo, KWS Chair of Board of Trustees Richard Leaky and Director Wildlife Conservation Stephen Manegene.

Mr. Manegene who represented State Department for Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima described the report as an important  reservoirs for Kenya.

In a celebration mood for the launch of the state for the wildlife conservancies report are Chairman KWS Board of Trustees Dr Richard Leakey (left), CS Judi Wakhungu and US Ambassador Robert Godec.

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Near-average to above-average (generally enhanced) rainfall was recorded over most parts of the country  during  the  month  of  November  (the  rainfall  peak  month)  2017.  Several  meteorological stations  in  the  country  recorded  near-average  rainfall  (between  75  and  125  percent)  of  their November Long-Term Means (LTMs). Stations like Wajir, Marsabit, Mombasa, Malindi, Mtwapa, Moyale, Nyeri, Meru, Thika, Dagoretti Corner, Msabaha and Lodwar, however, recorded above- average  (more  than  125  percent)  rainfall.  The  rainfall  distribution,  both  in  time  and  space, was generally good over most parts of the country especially during the first half of the month……read more

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Rainfall was recorded over several parts of the country including the Southeast Lowlands and the Central

Highlands. However, there was a general reduction in rainfall amounts over much of the country although parts of the Southeast Lowlands recorded notable increases (See Figure 1)……Read more

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Kenya is hosting the third session of the
United Nations Environment Assembly
(UNEA 3), the highest decision making
body on environment in the whole world from…..Read More

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The CS fitting a safety helmet to one of the school girls from the area when she handed over bicycles donated to them by the Turkish International Cooperation Agency during the event.

Environment Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has called for partnership in upgrading of forest cover to 10 percent as envisaged in the Constitution and Vision 2030.

Speaking in Kakamega during the 3rd Edition of the Kakamega Forest Marathon held at Solyo School, the Cabinet Secretary said Stakeholders’ contribution will supplement  the efforts the Government has put in place to realize the 10 percent forest cover across the country.

She said her Ministry has in the last three years elevated tree cover to 7.2 percent up from five percent in 2013.

During the event, Prof. Wakhungu said that the Kenya Forest Service, in collaboration with the Communities and Stakeholders will plant approximately 135,847,254 seedlings in the Western Regime this season, adding that this forms part of the strategy adopted by the government to achieve the 10 percent target by 2030.

Prof. Wakhungu awards one the winners of the race at Ileho Primary School grounds.

Also present at the event were local leaders from the region among them the Chairperson of Water Services Trust Fund Musikari Kombo, Nairobi County Assembly Speaker  Beatrice Elachi and top Commanders from the Administration police service who were also co-sponsors of the event.

The race has been held yearly for the past three years to encourage the conservation of Kakamega forest which is the country’s only remaining tropical rain forest and also a remnant of the ancient Guineo-Congolian rainforest which once spanned the African Continent all the way from West to the East.

 

 

 

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WEATHER REVIEW FOR THE LAST SEVEN DAYS (8TH TO 14TH OCTOBER, 2018)

Rainfall continued to be received over several parts of the Lake Victoria Basin and the Highlands West of the Rift […]

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Press Statement by Environment and Forestry Cabinet Secretary, Keriako Tobiko, CBS, SC. on the commencement   of the National Tree planting/growing   […]

PANDA MITI, BORESHA MAISHA

National Tree Planting Campaign October to December 2018 Rainfall Season…Read more

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