New wildlife policy to boost conservation,says Balala
It will promote incentives for wildlife-based enterprises and ensure proper management
• Says insecurity in wildlife areas exacerbated by insecurity in neighbouring countries.
• Balala says government is erecting fences in areas experiencing human-wildlife conflict.
The government has formulated a new policy to enhance wildlife conservation, security and address the perennial human-wildlife conflict, Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala has said.
“The new policy focuses on increasing access to incentives and sustainable use of wildlife resources while ensuring equitable sharing of benefits,” Balala said.
The policy will promote partnerships and incentives for wildlife-based enterprises and ensure proper management of viable wildlife populations and their habitats.
The CS said the new policy will facilitate collaboration for effective governance and financing of the wildlife sector between communities, private conservancies, counties, national government and international partners.
He said insecurity in Kenyan wildlife areas has been exacerbated by the state of insecurity in the neighbouring countries due to the proliferation of small arms in the region.
Balala said efforts are ongoing to erect fences in areas experiencing human-wildlife conflict as well as curbing livestock grazing in protected areas.
He said priority shall be given to Meru and Tsavo national parks.
He attributed the increased human-wildlife conflict to climate change and increased human activities in areas originally reserved for wildlife.
Balala spoke on Saturday during a consultative meeting with the National Assembly committee on Environment and Natural Resources at Kilaguni, Tsavo West National Park.
The CS said Kenya Wildlife Services will be given more resources to enhance its operations.
He said the existing policy does not address challenges facing wildlife.
“Despite its achievements, the policy was not robust enough to address emerging challenges and realities in the sector including rapid population growth and accelerated economic development that have led to loss of space for wildlife,” Balala said.
National Assembly committee on Environment and Natural Resources chairman Kareke Mbiuki said the compensation process for human wildlife conflict cases had kicked off.
He said the government has already paid the first batch of 466 death claims reported in the last three years while the over 12,000 injury cases shall be paid from the 2019/2020 financial year allocations.