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KWS hosts the Republic of South Sudan ministers

Date Published: 30 Nov, 2011
KWS hosts the Republic of South Sudan ministers

Forestry and Wildlife Assistant Minister, Hon. Josphat Nanok (left) presents a mounted lion sculpture to the to the Republic of South Sudan Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Beda Machar Deng. Looking on is The Republic of South Sudan Deputy Minister for Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Hon. Obuch Ujwok

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has urged the Republic of South Sudan to actively embrace community participation in wildlife conservation.  Speaking during the visit by the Deputy Minister for Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Hon Obuch Ujwok and Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Hon Beda Machar, KWS Director, Julius Kipng’etich said community engagement is extremely vital in today’s wildlife conservation and management. “Emerging challenges have called for a more strategic approach towards conservation. There is need for people living next to wildlife protected areas to see wildlife as an opportunity rather than as a menace,”  Mr Kipng’etich said.
KWS has increased its investment in communities from Ksh 20 million between 2002-2005 to Ksh 150 million in the 2011-2012 season. The Director said this increase in investment has led to a huge positive impact in the attitude change of communities. He pointed out a reduction of human wildlife conflict, improved safety and security and increased space for wildlife as the main benefits of reaching out to communities. He also encouraged the government of the Republic of South Sudan to map out conservation areas while their population was still small to take into consideration possible and existing migratory corridors. The Republic of South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 peace deal that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.  An overwhelming majority of South Sudanese voted in a January 2011 referendum to secede and become Africa's first new country since Eritrea split from Ethiopia in 1993. It is a United Nations member state, a member state of the African Union and a member state of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development.