Friday, August 17, 2018

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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