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KWS focuses on climate change in managing wildlife

Date Published: 29 Sep, 2011
KWS focuses on climate change in managing wildlife

Her Excellency Ms. Margit Hellwig-Boette,German Ambassador to Kenya plants a tree at the Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge in Taita Taveta county during the opening of the climate change and wildlife management workshop which she officiated.

Kenya Wildlife Service is investing Sh275 million for drought mitigation in wildlife management across the country. This was said by the KWS Director Julius Kipng’etich during the opening of a two-day Climate Change and Wildlife Management Workshop at the Sarova Taita Hills Game Lodge in Taita Taveta County. With him was the German Ambassador to Kenya, Her Excellency Ms. Margit Hellwig-Boette, who graced the event. The German Government funded the series of workshops to the tune of Sh3 million within the various KWS conservation areas. The training workshops were undertaken in Nanyuki from August 10th to 13th, 2011, and covered Northern, Eastern and Mountain conservation areas and Nakuru, September, 6th to 9th, 2011 for the Central Rift, Mara and Western conservation areas. Mr Kipng’etich attributed 99 per cent of conflicts in the entire planet to competition for natural resources. He added that managing such challenges is figuring out mitigation and adaptation measures in combating climate change in the country. More than 60 KWS employees and wildlife management stakeholders have been trained and a further 30 are undergoing the training. The workshops target wildlife managers, scientists and stakeholders to empower and enlighten them on the issues related to climate change. Global Environmental Change is accelerating, with Climate Change considered to be the major driver impacting on human well-being and environmental health over the next 50 years and beyond.

Kenya Wildlife Service has taken proactive action and mechanisms to manage climate risks which involves creating spaces to learn, communicate and share knowledge. This will create awareness to a cross cultural array of individuals so as to understand the impact of climate change in the country. The impacts of climate change are linked with the achievement of key national development objectives including Vision 2030, national climate change response strategy (NCCSR), strategy for revitalisation of agriculture and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In addition, the Kenyan Constitution takes into account environmental policies that advocates for a minimum National forest cover of 10 per cent and the Bill of Rights which every Kenyan has the right to a clean environment. Unless addressed, climate change will impede achievement of the MDGs and other development objectives as outlined in vision 2030. Ecosystem resources especially water is affected by climate change and need to be addressed from National law and policy in consultation with stakeholders. This will enhance water and food security, promote environmental resilience and promote water-based tourism (Vision 2030- economic pillar). Kenya has a total of 27 national parks, 34 national reserves and four national sanctuaries . These cover an area of 47,674 km2 (8.2 per cent of the total Kenya’s landmass of 582,646 km2) managed by KWS.

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