Trophy Hunting

TROPHY HUNTING

Trophy hunting (also known as recreational or sport hunting) involves the payment of a fee for a hunting experience, usually supervised, for one or more animals with specific desired characteristics (such as large body size or antlers). (IUCN,2019)

Countries that legalized trophy Hunting, such as South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among the many more around the world, have affirmed that the mechanism has contributed to preserving, protecting and restoring the natural environment and wildlife. From these definitions, it may be right to say that hunting plays a role in conservation, which may come as a surprise to most people.

Hunting was made illegal in Kenya in the year 1977. The most commonly hunted animal then was the elephant which affected the species population extensively. Kenya pioneered the destruction of ivory as a way to combat this black market. However, illegal hunting still poses a threat to wildlife conservation. Some CITES parties (member states), led by Zimbabwe, stated that wildlife had to have an economic value attached to it to survive and that local communities needed to be involved. Ivory was widely accepted in terms of non-lethal use of wildlife, but a debate raged over lethal use as in the case of the ivory trade.

WildNow Talks

On the 17th of April 2021, WildNow Talks held a conversation on Trophy hunting. Memo Some, Founder of WildNow Foundation, interviewed two guest speakers Dr Francis Vorhies and Robbie Kroger, about the controversial topic.

Dr Francis Vorhies is the founder and Executive Director of Earthmind. He has over 30 years of international experience in the interface between business, biodiversity and development.

Robbie Kroger is a Hunter, Chief Scientific Officer for Covington Civil and Environmental and the founder of Blood Origins, an organization focused on narrating symbiotic relationship stories between hunters and nature.

GAINS FROM HUNTING

Community Incentives

In trying to understand the impact of hunting in conservation and sustainability, the incentives from the act were pointed out. Kroger stated that for hunting to be successful, it has to be driven by the community. “In Zimbabwe, for instance, hunters are able to give back to communities through sharing the kill as meat and proteins for the community. What do the communities want and need to embrace the wildlife around them? People have to see value in the things they interact with. If there is no value to something, it would be replaced with something that has value.”

In support of this, Dr Francis quoted Richard Clarke, who was a chief veterinary of KWS in 1995, “Sustainable consumptive utilization of wildlife as an alternative to domestic animal ranching, farming or use of commercial land has a number of benefits, species which otherwise would be removed from land as competitors to livestock would be conserved therefore reducing the risk of extinction.” He highlighted that there is potential for developing consumptive wildlife consumption in Kenya, such as game farming of crocodiles, hunting and community utilization schemes. With the introduction of rhino hunting in Kenya for example, the activity will improve the rhino population, fund projects and provide job opportunities to communities.”

Reduce decline of species 

To many, hunting is viewed as a catalyst to animal extinction. However, this is not so from the interviewee’s perspective. Both supported that the statistics have been corrupted and exploited without any factual evidence.

Robbie underlined that there is not a single species whose population is declining because of hunting, but rather the decline is due to shrinkage in wildlife habitat. For example, in South Africa, Since the 1980s, the population of African lions has dropped from 100,000 individuals to below 10,000. And while the wild numbers of lions are decreasing, the number of captive-bred lions used for canned hunts has only increased.

Population control 

Population control is another crucial feature discussed by hunters and conservationists. It refers to strategies that seek to maintain a target population at a level that can be supported by the ecosystem. Thus, Dr Francis and Robbie expressed certainty that through hunting, population control and an effective balance on the ecosystem is well established.

In support of this, Dr Francis gave a brief case study of overpopulated lions in Aberdares in Kenya. “They were eventually hunted down but if the economic value to wildlife could be brought to Kenya, it would compete better with areas such as crop farming, and wildlife population would then increase.”

ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST AND HUNTING

To many environmental activists, hunting is destructive and lethal in the conservation field and wildlife management yet to supporters of hunting like Dr Francis and Robbie Kroger, fishing is hunting and killing of domestic animals is as brutal as the killing of wild animals.

Exploitative

From young African conservationists, this act is greatly linked to the exploitation of Africa’s wildlife and its people. Many agree that incentives such as ‘proteins’ to communities are nothing but demeaning and based on corrupted facts for enjoyment of a few rich people to the detriment of the communities. Villagers have recorded their displeasure with hunters who present carcasses for photo opportunities as means to indicate their supply of meat to the community. The number of animals slaughtered has insignificant nutritional value in the food range in the villages where these activities take place.

Loss of diversity

The animals with outstanding features such as large body size, tusks or horns are killed in trophy hunting. This removes these characteristics from the breeding groups. While some hunters have justified that they only focused on the old unproductive animals there is no evidence to prove that the animals that are killed are not reproductive.

Cruelty

The act has been a driving force in the increased number of captive breeds in Africa. A recent article by ABC News stated that animals in South Africa are hand-reared, so they grow up to be tame and used to humans. Cubs are used in petting attractions while they’re very young and small. Adolescent lions are used in other tourist activities, such as walking with lions. When they get too big to safely interact with tourists, the lions are either recycled back into the breeding industry or sold to other facilities where they will be gunned down in canned trophy hunts or killed for their bones.

Hunters have no problem with modifying animal behaviour, farming animals to produce victims who in the end do not have the proper animal instinct to survive in the hunting environment. This doesn’t qualify as hunting.

THE FUTURE

Last frontier

Africa remains the last frontier for large wild animals. Africa will play a critical role in the quest to determine how the animal species will be affected by the ever-increasing human population. The need for sustainable conservation approaches, wildlife protection and human-wildlife coexistence is now more critical than ever. Ecotourism forms the strongest pillar in providing a sustainable ecosystem and preservation of the wild heritage for posterity. This is easily practised with other methods of land use such as livestock ranching and commercial forests that can easily increase land productivity.

Open engagement

Open discussions on this matter are the first step to achieve sustainability and for a country like Kenya which is rich in wildlife, a long-term strategy and robust implementation systems that factors the neighbouring countries has to be put in place for the future of wildlife and her people. This has to have local communities as a central cog for success. For the good of humanity and the wild.

the damage to the wildlife is to be prioritized. The Vision of Kenya Wildlife Services is To save the last great species and places on earth for humanity”. Voting forth of this construction after the distractions caused by the SGR and Bypass is deliberately going against its objectives and mission as the backbone of wildlife conservation in Kenya. We as youths have taken the initiative to address the cause and implications caused by the act. 

Majority called to attention that the park is the getaway to the underprivileged in Nairobi. Most of the visitors in the park are proven to be from the working class who seek to have a family excursion during the weekends to learn and embrace what nature is all about. Invading the parks space is restricting on our wildlife growth and the locals of Nairobi who are made up of the working class as majority is substantially affected. 

Leaders and investors behind this projects have a diverse option of what park to visit and explore regardless of cost implication but have they considered the “common mwananchi” of Nairobi? 

The management plan is said to improve the parks ecosystem; however, few years ago, after completion of the SGR Railway and Bypass, Kenya Wildlife Services owned up to the damage caused by the constructions. It was announced that some of the flora species have gone extinct and the animals have greatly been affected by the noise, disruption of their space and air pollution from the encroachments of housings deeper into the park. 

As the proposal of the hotel is still pending, it’s important to consider that Human disturbance can affect wildlife behavior which will in the long run affect wildlife population. 

Constructions in the national park will do more harm than good. Which begs the question. “Is our wildlife protection the priority here?” 

The heritage of Africa is wildlife, and the distinctiveness of Kenya from other African countries and the whole world is amongst other things is “A National Park in the City”. Cowie who established the park in 1946 described the area as “paradise that was quickly disappearing.” Currently his predictions are proving to be accurate. What was home to different wildlife species is said to be a favorable destination in hospitality and tourism. Are we willing surrender our wildlife and uniqueness for profit gain rather than sustainability? 

The youth of Kenya have expressed views on the agenda and we believe the future of our wildlife in a more sustainable and considerable manner should be a pressing discussion. The park has a lot of history behind it and preserving those stories and species in it is a role for everyone to take part in for the sake of the coming generations and for our environments biodiversity. 

In the year 1989 Kenya’s second President, Daniel Arap Moi burned 12 tons of ivory on a site within the park as an indication to cease the ivory trade. The fire was intended as a statement of the Government’s political will to stop the poaching that has reduced Kenya’s elephant herds to 17,000 from 65,000 in 1979. This act ultimately improved Kenya’s conservation and wildlife protection image and helped lead to significant changes in global policy on the ivory trade. By going against the protection of wildlife policies with the constructions, we will be going against what the image of Kenya has been for many years. Nonetheless, poaching and damaging the environment of the park intentionally is still an offence and our conservation efforts would be nothing but a fiasco. 

Furthermore, Kenya Wildlife Services also proposes fencing of the park to reduce on the human wildlife conflict. .. There is considerable movement of large ungulate species across this boundary. 

Fencing of this part of land will lead to confining of wildlife to one area which will interfere with the ecosystem. Wildlife needs to migrate freely in different seasons, enclosing the national park will be sabotaging nature’s way of living and this will be nothing but a big zoo for the animals. 

The environment vs development debate is the discussion circulating the minds behind infrastructure projects in a growing country with a lot of potential and need for growth, nonetheless, it’s important to always keep in mind that our greatest strength is our agriculture and tourism, everything that surrounds the conditions of the environment. Long-term environmental impacts are often not considered in infrastructure development projects. 

Lets protect our widlife for the greater good! 

By; Maureen Some  

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Wildlife Hives

The IDEAS Hive is an interdisciplinary, inter-generational community Think + Do Tank whereby members of a local community are brought together each month to focus on one of the 17 sustainable development goals. With the partnership of WildNow Foundation, Youth members as well as the public interested in bettering the local and global community are welcome to participate in this inter-generational event. Through seminars, field trips, action projects, and film screenings, The IDEAS Hive is designed to transform communities to advance positive change.

The IDEAS Hive is split into 3 main interactive activities: 
Learn: where we learn from educated and expert speakers who share information on the monthly environmental topic. These sustainability topics cover local and global conversations through the SDGs, all geared towards improving environmental public awareness in a fun, multi-generational environment.

Engage: The IDEAS Hive brings together a cross-disciplinary, multi-generational group of community stakeholders to brainstorm solutions to sustainability challenges. Enjoy engagement from the audience in brainstorming “breakout” activities to share ideas from all members of the community.

Take Action: The IDEAS Hive then implements at least one solution per month through monthly Community Eco-Action Days. The IDEAS and WildNow team then develops these projects, and advocates for sustainable practices. By aggregating the impact of local actions, the Hive becomes a part of the Global solution.

#conservation is our lifestyle, make it yours.

 

How KFS plans to increase forest cover to 10 percent by 2022

The Kenya Forest Service plans to rehabilitate a total of 4,015,545.2078 acres of heavily degraded forest land in the country.

The KFS has laid out a strategy aimed at increasing the forest cover from the current 7.2 percent to 10 percent by 2022. To achieve the target, KFS needs Sh48 billion.

Under the strategy, Kenya needs to plant 1.8 billion seedlings between now and 2022 to achieve a 10 percent tree cover.

It has urged both state and non-state actors to help in the implementation of its plan.

“Attaining the 10 per cent tree cover by 2022, one creative avenue for the service is in forming partnerships with among others, non-state actors through tree planting initiatives that aim to spur a tree growing culture among our youth today,” KFS chief conservator of forests Julius Kamau said.

Kamau said their business is to plant, manage, grow and protect trees.

He said the partnerships will be key in enhancing the forest cover.

Other key agencies that took part in the initial development of the strategy include Kenya Water Towers Agency, Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the National Environment Management Authority.

Kenya’s forest cover was 6.99 per cent in 2010, according to a comprehensive National Forest Resources Assessment and Mapping report by the service.

There are five forest types in the country.

The Western rainforest natural forest (mixed indigenous) are found in Kakamega and Nandi. It covers 357,350.8957 acres — about 3.5 per cent of the total forest area.

This figure is based on the forest cover mapping of 2013 using 2010 satellite imageries.

The Montane forests natural forest (mixed indigenous) which include Mt Kenya, Aberdares, Mau, Cherangany, Mt Elgon, Matthews Ranges and Chyulu Hills covers 3,360,282.053 acres, making 32.9 per cent of the total forest area.

The Coastal forest natural forest (mixed indigenous trees) are found in Arabuko Sokoke, Dakatcha, Boni, Shimba Hills, Kayas covering 731,112.0345 acres, at 7.2 per cent of the total forest cover.

Dryland forests natural forest (mixed indigenous trees) found in Hilltops in Eastern and Northern Kenya and Lake Victoria regions covers 4,633,999.60 acres, making 45.4 per cent of the total forest cover.

Forest plantations both in public and private forests covered 461,384.5718 acres making 4.5 per cent of the total forest cover.

The strategy is premised on total seedling production of 1.8 billion over four years.

Some of the intervention include the rehabilitation of degraded natural forests in gazetted forests and water towers covering 741,315 acres. This will require 330,000,000 seedlings.

Some 247,105 acres of water towers and wetlands outside gazetted forests will also be rehabilitated.

Some 2,016.3768 acres of degraded national parks, game reserves and wildlife conservancies will regenerate naturally.

The degraded mangrove ecosystems covering 42,096.807acres will also be rehabilitated with 18,739,600 seedlings.

Some 76,602.55 acres of industrial forest plantation areas will also be restocked using 34,100,000 seedlings.

KFS said 370,657.5 acres of commercial private forests plantations will be established with 165,000,000 seedlings.

Some 123,552.5acres of bamboo plantations will also be grown. It will require 55,000,000 seedlings.

KFS said 864,867.5 acres of trees in farmlands will be established using 385,000,000 seedlings.

Some 172,973.5 acres of woodlots, botanical gardens, boundary planting will also be established using 77,000,000 seedlings.

Another 1,341,780.15 acres of degraded dryland forest landscapes will be rehabilitated using 597,300,000 seedlings.

Further, some 34,594.7 acres of infrastructure such as roads, along railway lines, dams, schools, corporates will be greened using 15,400,000 seedlings.

This brings the total number of seedlings needed to 1,787,539,600.

Listener of The Voices of The Lagoon

 Today I will take through to a trip to meet to the listener and whisperer of the voices of the lagoon (drum rolls). Ravi Nunkoo is a Multicultural & influential Environmentalist with Interdisciplinary experience in Nature Conservation. This is the briefest and most precise explanation I could give about this phenomenal man. I am very glad that I met him. If you ask anyone who met him during his time in our school, there are two things that keep coming up; really nice and knowledgeable, and I couldn’t agree more. Ravi’s aura had me wanting to read every book that I could just to feel ready for all the knowledgeable information he was always saying and also had me feeling comfortable in my little learner position and situation. Also, I wouldn’t fully describe my experience with Ravi without taking the time to appreciate his gratitude each time that we went to his sessions. Now on to the top five things I learned from Ravi!!!!! Yeiiy!!!!

  1. Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) – Before meeting Ravi, I didn’t know much about ocean conservation.
    In fact, (hiding in shame) I didn’t realize that there were protected areas for Oceans. So apparently these protected areas are there for different reasons which include: economic reasons, biodiversity conservation, and species protection. The level of protection determines what kind of activities are prohibited in these places and hence there are divisions which include: Uniform Multiple Use MPAs which allow activities including fishing or taking other living resources from water across the entire protected area; Zoned Multiple Use MPAs which enable people to take resources but limits when or where they can do so to lessen the impact on the area; Zoned Multiple Use MPAs with no-take zones which allow many activities but have to at least one zone where people are prohibited from taking any marine resources and No-take MPAs zones which restrict people from taking any natural or cultural resources. (Mind-blowing right?)
Image result for mpas image

2. The threats to the Oceans– I was among the many people who thought that the sea and oceans were too big for anything to affect it. Yes, I know how dumb that sounds. So yeah, thank God for the enlightening!!!
I now know that the ocean faces issues like over-fishing, Coastal Development, Pollution, Run-off, climate change- warm seas and acidification and introduction of non-native species. I also realize the need for the effort to work towards fixing these issues.

3. Chagos–  Ravi also helped me discover. Chagos is found in the Indian Ocean. There’s a dispute between the British and Mauritian Governments over the land. Since the British army forcefully evicted the indigenous Chagossian population in the 1960s before leasing it to the United States. It has since hosted America’s largest overseas airbase. Despite all this, the ecosystem of the Chagos has so far proven resilient to climate and environment disruptions. Chagos stuck with me because of its beauty and also because I saw a perfect example of how land with few human interruptions could look like and also got me thinking about the trade-offs that we have to make for the conservation course.

Image result for chagos image

4. Traditions that save nature–  The next lesson reinforces the proverb; Old is gold. Ravi taught us that traditionalists might be the answer that we have been looking for. This is seen in the fact that traditionalists already know facts that could be useful for marine conservation like information on fish migration, timing, and location of spawning for various species, and locations of important fishing spots.

5. The Pacific Pile– Discovering the Pacific patch made me realize how dumb I could have been for thinking that the sea was safe from any environmental disasters. The result of this kind of ignorance is  Pacific Pile.

Image result for pacific pile trash

Why I am a Conservationist

If you ask me why I am the way I am, I will tell you a long story that never fails to include the first ten years of my life. These are the years when I hadn’t discovered how cruel the world could get and my innocence was just intact. Life was simple then. I was just a child and that’s all I had to worry about. If you could draw me as I was in those years, I am the dancing girl with joy in her eyes, love in her heart, music in her feet and hands harnessing the wind. The reason these years are the biggest part of who I am is because during years I was really happy before life swooped in and showed me its ugly. I treasure the image of this girl because she helps me to know that I am capable of anything. She keeps me going on days I don’t have hope. I enjoy to conjure her  using nature and writing. This is the girl I see every time I go to the river or hear the birds chirping. Nature has found a way to bring the memories of past back to me and given me a way to accept the pain that came with letting go of the girl I was. It always manages to soothe my soul and bring life back to me.

Nature is my savior because it has managed to keep all my dreams and secrets. When everything in my life changed, it didn’t. The rivers that I cried and fantasized by are always there to give me hope. The trees still sway in beautiful way as though they are cleaning the sky to remind me of perfection and greatness. The clay by the river still makes the best mud dolls and pots to keep me feeling good about my creativity and difference from others.The birds still make a lot of noise that speaks to my inner bird and makes her just want to fly.

In short I am a conservationist because I want to always have nature to save me and I also want very many people to connect with nature the way I do. I want my kids and their kids to feel the way I do in a forest and not read about it in a book. It’s just that simple.

The Troubles of Lake Turkana

When people talk about Lake Turkana, a lot of interesting facts about the water body come up. These facts range from its size, its biodiversity, and its wonderful physical features that endow the surrounding of the lake. All this might come to an end if somebody doesn’t act fast to save the world’s largest desert lake from the destruction that has been chasing after it.

One of the threats to the lake is the Gibe 111 dam. Gibe 111 dam, which is the second largest hydroelectric plant in Africa, is built on River Omo which is one of the main tributaries to Lake Turkana (Wikipedia, No date). Gibe 111 dam’s activities are likely to take away a lot of water that is supposed to be getting into the lake (International Rivers, No date). The reduction of water level will then make the rich ecosystem of Lake Turkana to get impoverished (Vidal,2015). The people of Turkana and Lower Omo Valley who depend on this lake will also be very disadvantaged (Vidal,2015). This Gibe 111 dame situation might look difficult because there are two governments involved in this story but if Rwanda, Uganda, and Congo could figure how to deal with the Virunga Landscape through the transboundary conservation collaboration (Gorilla Org, 2015) then so can Kenya and Ethiopia. Getting the governments to collaborate is the just beginning of how the Lake can be saved but its a crucial step because the governments are the powers behind all the decisions that affect Lake Turkana whether it’s positive or negative if things go well the governments might just figure out how to solve the Gibe 111 problem.

Image result for gibe 111 dam image

Lapsset also manages to color the lips of people talking about Gibe 111 dam and Lake Turkana. It is considered another big threat to the wonderful ecosystem haven. When the many barrels of oil were discovered in Turkana, it was considered such a blessing for the people of Turkana. One of the poorest counties in Kenya had finally found its big break (Young.N,2018). Nevertheless, the conservationists, this was another danger to the Lake especially when the government decided to Lapsset transport project that would allow efficiency of the oil was suggested (Chebet,2018). This case is a classic case of what is always happening; countries compromising nature for development. This was the case when the Standard Gauge Railway was built, Nairobi National Park suffered irreparable damage. The cure for these situations is no longer protests and letters to the ministries telling them of the damage. The cure should be in finding ways of making sure professionals involved in the projects care about conservation and understand the implications of the actions. Conservation needs to stop being a topic around conservationists but one around everyone. This way it is not just Lake Turkana that will be saved; it’s a lot of nature.

Image result for lapsset image

Sugar Plantations are often held hand in hand with Gibe 111 dam when people criticize the deeds of Ethiopia that threaten Lake Turkana (HRW,2017). The sugar plantations are just an emphasis of how the government always chooses development over nature and how Kenya and Ethiopia need to establish better transboundary conservation collaboration. The Sugar Plantations add to the fact that River Omo cannot give as much water as it used to Lake Turkana (Horne.F, 2017). This leads to the Ecosystem around Lake Turkana suffering, and so are the people around the place who have been depending on the Lake for a generation. This is because the governments have to come together and save the Lake.

Image result for ethiopia  omo Sugarcane plantation image

The biggest responsibility might seem to be on the Government but it is on everyone. The responsibility to talk about the importance of the governments to find to collaborate and also since most of us the professionals on the ground we should find ways to get development done without compromising nature and preaching this gospel to every non-believer. This is the only way the world is going to be saved.

References

  1. Anon, No Date. Gilgel Gibe 111 Dam. Wikipedia. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgel_Gibe_III_Dam
  2. Anon, No Date. Lake Turkana. Wikipedia. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Turkana
  3. Chebet.C, 2018. Lake Turkana Faces Extinction. (online) The Standard. Viewed on 4/15/2019. Availabe at: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001287448/lake-turkana-faces-extinction
  4. Horne.F, 2015. Climate Change and Ethiopia have the people of Turkana in a devastating pincer grip. (online) The East African. Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/oped/comment/Climate-change-Ethiopia-Lake-Turkana/434750-2917420-bd66r/index.html
  5. IUCN,2012. Assessing Threats To The Lake Turkana World Heritage Site. IUCN (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.iucn.org/content/assessing-threats-lake-turkana-world-heritage-site
  6. International Rivers, No date. Lake Turkana Under Threat. International Rivers. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/lake-turkana-under-threat-7411
  7. Kelley.J.K,2018. UN says Lapsset a threat to Lake Turkana as heritage site.Business Daily. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/Lapsset-threat-Lake-Turkana-heritage-site/539546-4632828-dvguchz/index.html
  8. The East African,2018. Lake Turkana put on World Heritage danger List. The East African. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/magazine/Kenya-Lake-Turkana-put-on-World-Heritage-danger-list/434746-4637954-74w2hnz/index.html
  9. Vidal.J, 2015. Ethiopia dam will turn Lake Turkana into ‘endless battlefield’, local warn. The Guardian. (online). Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2015/jan/13/ethiopia-gibe-iii-dam-kenya
  10. International Rivers, 2013. Gibe111’s Impacts on Lake Turkana. International Rivers. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.internationalrivers.org/resources/gibe-iii-s-impacts-on-lake-turkana-7773
  11. The Gorilla Org, 2015. Transboundary Conservation formalised with a Treaty!. The Gorilla Organization. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.gorillas.org/at-last-transboundary-conservation-is-formalised-with-a-treaty/
  12. Kegoro.G, 2018. SGR project likely to irreparably damage Nairobi National Park. Daily Nation. (online) Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.nation.co.ke/oped/opinion/SGR-to-irreparably-damage-Nairobi-national-park/440808-4336360-r7w1d5z/index.html
  13. Unesco,No Date. Lake Turkan National Park. (online) UNesco. Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://whc.unesco.org/en/decisions/7321/
  14. Young. N, 2018. Where I grew up  the land was for the community: Oil Trouble in Turkana. (online) African Arguments. Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://africanarguments.org/2018/07/04/land-community-oil-turkana-kenya-lapsset/
  15. HRW, 2017. Ethiopia: Dams, Plantations a Threat to Kenyans. (online) Human Rights Watch. Viewed on 4/15/2019. Available at: https://www.hrw.org/news/2017/02/14/ethiopia-dams-plantations-threat-kenyans

July Digest

OUR PARK OUR FUTURE

JULY 2020

#PROTECTNAIROBINATIONALPARK

Nairobi National Park serves as a unique destination for tourists around the world. It’s the only protected area in the world with such a massive variety of animals and birds close to a capital city. It is a principal attraction for visitors to Nairobi and also serves many local residents.

 

Plans to hive and fence off the land for the satisfaction of the newly designed NNP 2020-2030 Management Plan presents challenges to both flora and fauna. All environmental engagements must satisfy Kenya’s national aspirations across the arch of centuries, not mere decades. Plans to build the hotel are adding to the already compromised ecological integrity of Nairobi’s air purity and proximate wildlife dispersal areas such as Kitengela, Isinya and Kajiado. We have experienced early challenges and sites of animals caught off their regular zones and have seen lions in Langata and Kitengela suburbs in the dry season. Migratory paths are facing more blockades; urban recreation for the ordinary Kenyan youth is also coming under severe threat. With climate change a reality, such will get worse. All these will invariably push up park enjoyment cost benefits for the average tourist, further disenfranchising young users for whom we are supposed to hold this national treasure and heritage we call NNP.

 

Land from the Nairobi National Park has been hived off for the Southern bypass, the SGR rail route, a pipeline and now a possible hotel. All these encroachments have eaten out over 10,000ha in 3 decades. The Park can hardly recognize itself!

 The disruption of forests, forest-life as urban-sprawl takes over in surrounding mixed rangeland and bushlands affects population density and distribution of animals. Biodiversity is nipped at the bud, and these shorten the life of both flora and fauna. By changing the feeding habits of animals, it leads to starvation in the long term as precious flora, central to nutrition and the ecosystem support fade. 

 

Already we have seen aquatic resources such as Hippopotamus, Crocodiles in the Mbagathi river dwindle within the Park primarily due to pollution of the river and other streams flowing through the Park from Ngong Hills. 

For the above, we say many factors choke the Park. To add even one more challenge in the name of an eatery only serves to stifle an already breathless situation. It sets a dangerous precedent for all other parks in Kenya by feeding unnecessary tension and asphyxiation. The Nairobi National Park cannot breathe!

WildNow Youths atThe Parliament of Kenya

WILDNOW PETITION

This month Wildnow foundation became the first youth organization to petition in parliament in securing our Park for the future generations. We petitioned against any further construction in NNP that is said to kill the ecosystem of the Park deliberately.

 

As the youth we urged, the Departmental Committee on Environment and Natural Resources does pursuant to Standing Order 216(5)(a) investigate and inquire into all the matters raised herein; and 

 

That it does make the relevant and appropriate recommendations thereof with a view of ensuring that the economic value of the National Park to the country is not threatened through continued encroachment and that flora and fauna at the Park are also protected from extinction.

GLOBAL PARTICIPATION

During this period of a pandemic, Kenya Wildlife services urged for global participation concerning the future of the Park. Wildnow members and youths from different countries and continents took to action to voice out on the preservation of the NNP with the hashtag #protectnairobinatioanlpark.

With the involvement of different conservationists and scientists, we did a documentary on the ecology of the National Park and its importance to Kenya as its heritage and national identity.  

As WildNow, we are proud of the miles we have covered this month as the youths to protect the future of our wildlife. We have captured the attention of the government, the public and many other NGO have joined this force to support the youths in the initiative.

The final say about the management plan is

 still yet to be confirmed by the Kenya Wildlife Services and Hon Minister Najib Balala(CS – Tourism). 

Below are the park documentary and parliamentary session videos.

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