Tag Archives: Ministry of Environment

Speech by 12 yr old at the Global March for Elephants & Rhinos, Nairobi – 2015

SPEECH BY LUCA BERARDI AT THE END OF THE GLOBAL MARCH, 2015 – NAIROBI

12 yr old Luca

Good Afternoon Hon. Cabinet Secretary, Ambassadors, Ladies & Gentlemen.

My name is Luca Berardi, I am 12 years old and I am the CEO & Founder of the YARH organization, which creates awareness for endangered species through workshops and networking with schools about the importance of wildlife conservation. Also, through paper-recycling projects that help us to save trees.

For many years, illegal poaching and wildlife trafficking has been declining the populations of elephants and rhinos resulting in massive biodiversity loss in Kenya and other parts of Africa. Rhino horn and elephant tusks are the main target for the poachers because of the high value in the illegal market throughout the world. As I stand here, representing the youth, most are unaware of the problems the wildlife faces. We need to educate young people on the importance of protecting our wildlife.

To you, Hon. Cabinet Secretary, Judi Wakhungu, we are encouraged with all your efforts. Just the day before yesterday, you were in NY together  with the leaders of the world passing the key sustainable  goals that we need to meet by the coming years. But, I would like to tell everyone present here today, let us not wait, lets start conserving our wildlife today, for if we wait for the year 2030, we shall have lost them all…..

And to you Sir, Chief Justice, please help us win this war to provide justice for al the families of innocent elephants and rhinos that have died in the hands of these poachers.

And to the World, from my heart to yours, please, you don’t need an elephant tusk hanging over your furnace as a trophy, or a couple of rhino horns as your centrepieces. There are over a million/million ways to showcase your wealth.

KWS and all Partners here today, thank you for all the work you are doing in protecting these vulnerable animals from extinction. I am encouraged to learn about your partnership with WWF in the implementation of the black rhino conservation, Rhino sanctuary in Tsavo and the Forensic Lab. This is good news for us all and our Chief Justice.

I Quote: Wildlife: Save it to Cherish or Leave it to Perish!!

 

 

WildlifeDirect and UNDP hold project inception meeting in Amboseli

On Wednesday, WildlifeDirect initiated a new community enterprise project funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and in collaboration with the Her Excellency, The First Lady Margaret Kenyatta in Imbirikani, Amboseli.

The project inception meeting was held at the Big Life foundation bringing together over 100 women from three different groups in the area and representatives from UNDP and the community.

The greater Amboseli landscape plays a major role in Kenya’s tourism industry, however its biodiversity particularly its magnificent its elephants is threatened by habitat degradation and issues of human-wildlife conflict and poaching. The communities in this area practice livestock farming and this is their major source of income. Both livelihoods, as currently practiced, are unsustainable, in terms of both natural resource degradation and the extent to which they conflict with the natural movements of wildlife, in particular, elephants are heavily persecuted due to the damages they inflict on crops.

Under this tremendous project, the women groups will be empowered and trained to come up with new ideas which will be funded by UNDP for a period of one year, in a community where men are considered leaders of household with women playing very little roles. This project proposes to empower the Maasai women to take control of their future and have the capacity to plan and implement their own income generating activities.  It will result in the development and marketing of three women’s enterprise utilizing existing groups in the Mbirikani conservancy that are linked to the sustainable use of natural resources.

There is an urgent need to diversify livelihoods in the communities away from both pastoralism and agriculture towards sustainable management of natural resources and other conservation- related activities, so that both wildlife and the communities may continue to co-exist in greater harmony and the ecosystem can be restored to health, providing critical ecosystem services, robust against climate change. This project will help identify potential markets for the women groups and also connect them with buyers for their products.

‘’We need to look at this project at a larger scale and give it the urgency it deserves, we want to make sure at the end of this one year we should have achieved our set goals’’, Paula Kahumbu, CEO WildlifeDirect, said.

‘’it is very important that we quickly agree on the project projects that we need to implement within the stipulated project time that will turn out to be profitable businesses and so I want to thank all the men and women who have come to support this women in this project’’

WildifeDirect will help the women groups in the implementation of the project under the leadership of Community Project Officer, Robert Kaai and Dr.Kahumbu promised to give the women groups enough to ensure the project is a success.

David Githaiga, Team Leader, Energy, environment and Climate Change, UNDP Kenya promised the women groups that UNDP is very much committed to the project, promising the funds for the project  are already available. He said the project is a very good initiative to empower women in this region and said the funds will be released in four quarters immediately after identifying the enterprise to invest in.

 

Women groups, WLD and UNDP staff after the meeting

Women groups, WLD and UNDP staff after the meeting

Paradise Grows for Amboseli Elephants

NAIROBI, Kenya, July 17, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Space for elephants to roam free and safe at Kenya’s Amboseli National Park, grew by nearly 16,000 acres today, with the signing of a lease agreement between the local Maasai community and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org).

“Paradise for elephants and other wildlife has just grown that much bigger,” said Azzedine Downes, President of IFAW, at a ceremony to mark the creation of the “Kitenden Corridor.” The leased area will extend elephant range space from Amboseli National Park to the Tanzanian border, where a similar strip of land, also referred to as the Kitenden Corridor connects to Mount Kilimanjaro National Park.

“We have the community of the Olguluilui/Ololarashi Group Ranch (OOGR) to thank for their foresight and concern for the safety of Amboseli’s wildlife. By agreeing to lease land to IFAW, elephant range space has been massively extended and both humans and wildlife can look forward to living free of conflict,” said Downes.

About 1,400 elephants live in the Amboseli ecosystem, and routinely move into the ranch area, particularly during the rainy season and sometimes come into conflict with farmers and villagers. The Kitenden Corridor which runs from Amboseli to Mount Kilimanjaro will ensure that a favored route that elephants have used for millennia to move across the Tanzanian border is secured from habitat fragmentation and potential conflicts with local communities.

IFAW has a long standing relationship with the leadership and people of OOGR. Earlier this year ten community scouts sponsored by IFAW graduated from the Kenya Wildlife Service Enforcement Academy. The scout’s mission is to save elephants and protect human livelihoods and IFAW will continue to support the KWS training programme.

“The Government recognizes and appreciates the role played by IFAW in support of wildlife conservation in our country, in particular conserving elephants and other endangered species and their habitats,” said Professor Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.

“The greatest threat to wildlife conservation today lies mainly on the human population pressure on scarce land resources and this leads to human-wildlife conflicts. This calls for the need to plan on how to manage the elephant populations and this Kitenden Corridor conservation area is one such approach,” said Wakhungu.

The OOGR, and five other adjoining group ranches, are the first community in Kenya that has agreed to an ecosystem management plan between Kenya Wildlife Services and Amboseli Maasai ranches that surround the park.

The next steps for the Kitenden Corridor, will be transforming the land into an operational conservancy.

“IFAW’s aim is to work with the OOGR and KWS, to ensure that habitat is improved, that viable tourism initiatives are established that will benefit every member of the OOGR, and that Kitenden will ultimately become a viable and safe habitat for elephants and other wildlife,” said James Isiche, Regional Director of IFAW East Africa.

“It is a profound day for IFAW and the OOGR, and honours the Maasai community values of protecting wildlife in Amboseli for nearly 300 years,” said Isiche.

The signing agreement was attended by Professor Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary Water, Environment and Natural Resources under whose docket wildlife management in Kenya falls, Daniel Leturesh, Chairman of the OOGR, Azzedine Downes, President of IFAW, William Kiprono, Director of KWS, Dr David Nkedienye, Governor of Kajiado County, Katoo Ole Metito, Mp for Kajiado South, Joseph Ole Lenku, Cabinet Secretary Interior and Coordination of National Government, and other dignitaries.

About 500 landowners from the OOGR were present to witness the historic event, having walked for hours from all corners of the ranch which borders Amboseli, and is roughly 3.5 times the size of the national park.

From the following source: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/paradise-grows-for-amboseli-elephants-215861491.html