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KWS hosts meeting on formation of a national wildlife sector forum
Date Published: 23 Aug, 2012
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), community and private landowners, conservationists and investors from across the country are meeting on Thursday (August 23, 2012) to discuss the formation of a national wildlife conservation association.
KWS, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund have organised the conference at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi.
The meeting is being held against the backdrop of different organisations in wildlife conservation addressing specific or partisan aspects of the industry in uncoordinated way because of lack of a national entity. Consequently, communities and private landowners have been denied leverage and bargaining power to advance their constituents’ issues with the government, private sector and the international community. The national association is envisaged to provide the opportunity to galvanize the needs and aspirations of its membership.
Over 50 per cent of wildlife resides within community, private and county authority landscapes. These working landscapes are an important part of Kenya’s conservation efforts and generate both economic and environmental benefits. The enhanced collaborative stewardship will improve the overall integrity of the landscapes without necessarily taking land out of production.
There are limited opportunities for the growth of national parks in the country due to human pressure on land. Community, group and privately owned land offer a viable option for securing the space required for wildlife conservation. Already, KWS has drafted subsidiary legislation on formation, registration and operation of wildlife conservancies and shared with stakeholders for input and review towards enactment.
KWS is committed to working with a broad range of stakeholders including non-governmental organizations (NGOs), minority groups, ranchers, fishing and pastoralist communities towards this development.