The Kenya Wildlife Service in collaboration with The Nature Conservancy are working together to support the establishment of the Kenya Conservation Trust Fund.
The two organizations have through a Memorandum of Understanding agreed to amend section 23 of the Wildlife Endowment Fund -under the Wildlife and Management Act 2013, in order to provide for an independent trust fund that will be able to effectively attract substantial funding.
The Fund Steering Committee briefed and presented the proposal to the State Department of Natural Resources Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who approved it. This was done in her office on 3rd April 2017. The PS’s endorsement now paves way for the establishment of the kitty.
In a memo dated March 21, 2017, the Fund Steering Committee (FSC) spearheading the talks have argued that establishing the kitty will play a vital role of effective wildlife assets conservation.
“It is recommended that the Wildlife Act 2013 be amended so that a Kenya Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund be established as an independent entity, and that includes not only an endowment fund but also other types of funds such as sinking and resolving funds, in order to attract a wider range of funding sources,” reads the FSC recommendation.
Acknowledging that a significant financial gap exists in terms of the amount of total funding needed for public protected areas and conservancies, the Committee has proposed that a long term funding is needed to mitigate impacts of fluctuating tourist income, shifting politics and the vagaries of international economics.
The committee further recommends that to effectively conserve the country’s wildlife assets, there is need for creation of sufficient space that meets the requirement of breeding habitat, migration corridors alongside dispersal areas.
“Because of rapid population growth and related factors, the public protected areas are insufficient islands by themselves. But combined with private and community conservancies, this comprehensive system of conservation areas can ensure sustainable conservation for these wildlife assets,” the steering committee states in its findings.
The Wildlife Act of 2013 establishes a Wildlife Endowment Fund to provide reliable and long term resources for national parks and conservation initiatives outside national parks.
The legislation mandates the Wildlife Endowment Fund to manage and restore protected areas such as national parks and conservancies.
Additionally the kitty will protect endangered species, habitats and ecosystems, support wildlife security operations alongside facilitating community-based wildlife initiatives.