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KWS Wardens and Scientists Conference to be held in Nanyuki May 23-25, 2011

Date Published: 18 May, 2011
KWS Wardens and Scientists Conference to be held in Nanyuki May 23-25, 2011

Lake Paradise on top of Marsabit National Reserve in Northern Kenya. The endangered reserve forest is a critical source of water for wildlife, neighbouring communities and their livestock

The 7th Wardens and Scientists conference will be held at the Sportsman Arms hotel Nanyuki from May 23 to 25, 2011.  This bi-annual conference brings together senior KWS managers and scientists from across the country to discuss contemporary wildlife conservation and management matters.  The theme for the upcoming conference is: “Water, wildlife and communities”. Water availability for wildlife and people is major challenge for conservationists. Lack of water particularly in the very dry years has in the past resulted in increased wildlife mortalities, frequent wild fires, and increased incidence of human-wildlife conflicts. The effects of climate change have seen water sources that were historically perennial either becoming ephemeral or drying up completely. Provision of water to communities living with or in close proximity of wildlife is one of the pillars of the community wildlife conservation strategies employed by KWS and other stakeholders. Water availability for the twin needs of wildlife and people poses a significant challenge to KWS and other stakeholders.

The focus of the 7th conference will be to deliberate the challenges posed by reduced water availability and recommend appropriate mitigation and adaptation measures to guide wildlife conservation in Kenya. KWS has declared the year 2011 as the Year of Communities. During this year more than in any other, KWS will devote a lot more attention to community wildlife conservation through community enterprise development, problem animal management and community outreach and projects support to win the goodwill for wildlife conservation from communities who bear the greatest cost for wildlife conservation. The theme water, wildlife and communities blends well with the KWS year of communities.
The conference is structured into four sections: motivational talks, conservation discussions, a poster session and a corporate social responsibility activity. The CSR activity will include a clean-up of Nanyuki town, a visit to the Nanyuki Children’s Home and feeding the Nanyuki-Majengo HIV-positive persons.

Overall, the conference will achieve the multiple functions of strategising on a key wildlife conservation challenge, motivating staff, enhancing bonding and teamwork amongst Kenya’s key wildlife conservation practitioners and extending assistance to the needy in society. The conference is yet to be opened to the public and remains an in-house activity with the exception that media is invited to cover the community outreach components.

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