Friday, December 15, 2017

Cs Prof. Wakhungu receiving equipment on behalf of the Kenya wildlife service. The equipment was donated by WWF to help in the fight against poaching.

The Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has asked Kenyans to support the Government’s effort towards Wildlife conservation.

Prof. Wakhungu said their backing would supplement the government’s plan to minimize threats posed to the country’s wildlife population.

Speaking at Nanyuki Municipal Stadium in Laikipia County during the commemoration of  World Rhino Day, the Cabinet Secretary pointed out that  her Ministry through Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), the County Government, Conservation Agencies, Private and Community Sanctuaries have been working together to minimize threats posed to Kenya’s rhino population.

She said the collaboration has resulted in recovery and protection of the population, with figures indicating that Kenya currently holds  the third largest population of rhinos, which  now stands at 1,149 as at end of 2016, after South Africa and Namibia.

The Cabinet Secretary further announced that Kenya has completed developing the 6th edition of the 5 year Kenya Black Rhino Action Plan (2017-2021), which is to be launched later in the year.

“The vision is to conserve at least 2,000 black rhinos of the Eastern African subspecies, while the overall goal for the next five years is to achieve a meta-population of 830 black rhinos by the end of 2021”, Prof Wakhungu said.

She reiterated that the Action Plan follows the worst period in rhino conservation in the recent past which reported rhino poaching of 5,703 black and white rhinos in Africa between 2012 and 2016, adding that over the last three years, poaching has declined arising from a commendable effort by the Government of Kenya in partnership with its local and international stakeholders.

Prof. Wakhungu additionally urged the Kenya Wildlife Services to intensify resolution of human-wildlife conflicts by supporting the construction of wildlife-proof barriers such as the Rumuruti forest, West Laikipia fence alongside prompting the national government to fast- track payment of wildlife compensation claims.

She noted that such events provide a good platform to reach out to the wider public on the plight of the rhinoceros which is mainly poached for its horn hence the need for all to join hands to conserve them for posterity.

The World Rhino Day celebrates all five remaining species of rhino: Black, white, greater one-horned, Sumatran and Javan rhinos.

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