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Wildlife stakeholders agree to formation of a national conservancies’ body
Date Published: 23 Oct, 2012
Wildlife sector stakeholders drawn from the Coast and Taita Taveta region on Tuesday (October 16, 2012) approved the formation of a proposed national conservancies association to steer wildlife conservation agenda outside protected areas in Kenya.
90 participants attended the regional workshop held in Voi, Taita Taveta County.
The Voi workshop was the second in a series expected to run countrywide for the next one month. The first of the regional workshop was held in Nanyuki, Laikipia County on October 2012, and drew 85 participants from Laikipia, Samburu and Northern Kenya rangelands.
A national stakeholders’ forum had earlier been hosted in Nairobi on August 23, 2012.
The body will bring together private, group and community conservancies.
Addressing stakeholders attending the workshop, Munira Bashir, Assistant Director in-charge of community enterprise department said that KWS hopes to deepen its partnership with communities and landowners to promote nature-based enterprises that will spur revenue generation and sustainable wildlife utilization.
“It is time stakeholders organize themselves and lobby to tap benefits in unity. The government will listen to you when you are one rather than when you are fragmented,” said Munira
Stakeholders were optimistic the body will help focus wildlife sector priorities and harness the power of partnership for the greater good.
Meibai Conservancy Chairman Fred Longonyek urged stakeholders to embrace the proposed body to enhance benefit sharing. “This is the way to go. We want to have an agency that will agitate for a collective conservation agenda,” he said.
Abdul-Aziz, administrator of Taita Hill Conservancy Taita Taveta County said the idea of a national body is viable. “It will give a cohesive conservation agenda for stakeholders in this country,” he says.
The proposed national conservancy body is envisaged to promote increased community and landowners’ involvement in sustainable wildlife conservation and management and guarantee greater access to benefits and incentives to stimulate collaboration with other economic sectors.
Kenya Wildlife Service, The Nature Conservancy and World Wildlife Fund are partnering to bring together wildlife sector stakeholders in view of initiating a national conservancy association.
Stakeholders are also developing a regulatory framework to ensure good governance of the conservancies’ body.