President Uhuru Kenyatta has challenged conservation sector stakeholders led by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to innovate new models of preserving Kenya’s flora and fauna resources.
The President said the new approaches must align with the changing socio-economic and environmental realities such as climate change and the ballooning human population.
“We really need to think out of the box to know how we will be able, with such a growing population, to take care of this magnificent beauty that has been inherited from our forefathers.
“We need to really think imaginatively how we will do it and how we will ensure that future generations are able to live side by side with nature and with our wildlife as we have done,” the President said.
President Kenyatta, who spoke on Thursday during celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of Nairobi National Park, said Kenya needs to find innovative ways of balancing her socioeconomic aspirations with the country’s ambitious conservation agenda.
At the same time, the President reiterated the Government’s commitment to the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife heritage saying it was the responsibility of the current generation to hand over the resource to future generations.
“On this joyous occasion, we reaffirm our commitment to preserving the natural beauty of our land and passing the same to future generations in pristine condition.
“Those that came before us made a deliberate choice to balance rapid social and economic development with conservation of our plant and animal life,” the President said.
The Head of State said Nairobi National Park was the only conservation area of its kind globally terming it an icon of the Nairobi Metropolitan area and called on the wildlife ministry to craft a robust sustainability plan for the 31,000-acre conservation area.
The President said Kenya was determined to eradicate poaching noting that between 2020 and this year, the number of cases involving endangered species such as elephants and rhinos had dropped significantly.
“To give this quest greater impetus, and to enhance wildlife conservation and to address the emerging challenges, the ministry of tourism and wildlife, and KWS should use new innovations, use of technology and other innovative measures to address the wildlife challenges, particularly poaching.
“Adoption of technology and innovation will not only greatly improve efficiency and reduce cost; it will also provide an avenue for our local universities to contribute to this noble campaign,” the President proposed.
As part of the new conservation approaches, the President challenged sector stakeholders led by the ministry of tourism and wildlife to develop a recognition mechanism for conservation heroes, especially young and future conservationists.
In his speech, Tourism CS Najib Balala thanked the President for his continued support for conservation programmes saying recent successes in stemming the poaching menace and other aspects were as a result of the growing Government investment in the sector.
“We treasure (Nairobi National Park) and we want to say thank you very much Mr President. You expanded more space for wildlife and gave us 2,000 additional acres to add to Nairobi National Park…That’s highly appreciated by all conservationists,” CS Balala said.