Success in conservation depends on how ready people are to do conservation work, conservation cannot be left to conservation organizations or “Conservationists” conservation is far more than just about wildlife. We need everyone on board, when it comes to animal rights it it is better to be outspoken than unspoken.

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CONSERVATION EDUCATION INTERPRETIVE SKILLS

Conservation education always sounds easy “talking about the advantages and importance of conserving the environment” anyone can easily do it until you find yourself in front of a group of rowdy incorporative pupils, then you’ll realize its never that simple.

I recently attended the Northern Kenya Conservation Education Working Group (NKCEWG) workshop which expounded my interpretive skills, got practical solutions on how best to improve public speaking skills which I believe will be of immense value to you.

Icebreakers and Attention Getters

Icebreakers and attention getters are important to capture attention at the beginning of a lesson and throughout the program. An introduction sets students up for success by communicating the agenda, goals, and tone for the program. It builds interest in the program content and establishes rapport with the audience. This can also be where you introduce your attention getters for the day so students know what to do when you use them.

Sample Introduction:

Warm greeting

Agenda for the day

The theme for the day

First set of instructions – limit to 3 things to do at a time

Introduce attention getters

Attention Getters:

“When I say Water, you said Shed!” “Water!”… “Shed!”

Repeat after me: clap 2 times, wait for kids to mimic clapping sequence. Repeat with various clapping patterns. Can do this with stomping, whistles, animal sounds, etc.

“Everyone catch a bubble in your mouth”- wait for students to puff cheeks out with mouth closed.

Listening check: “If you can hear me touch your head.” Wait for students to touch their head. “If you can hear me cross your fingers.” Etc.

Knowing Your Audience

Relate to your audience based on their needs, to keep engagement and set students up for success. Build rapport with them from the beginning. When engaging your audience, remember:

RMP – Relevant, Meaningful, and Personal.

Various Student Ages

  • Adults: Can only handle 7 +/- 2, relates back to themselves, change is tough- help make it easier, use various methods to teach (like kids!). Don’t forget to use humour. Challenge them, or include teamwork.
  • Preteens – teens: What others think about them is important. They can only handle 5-7 pieces of info at a time. Their brains are still developing – starting to understand generalization, deductive reasoning, and problem-solving. They are learning to think about abstract concepts. Use visuals, and a structured program is helpful. Remember different learning styles when engaging this group.
  • Ages 5-9: There can be a lot of self-doubt at this age. Engage both the body and the mind at the same time when teaching. They are developing better motor control. More self-centred thinking. Be clear and direct, very short instructions, short attention span/mix it up, can use puppets and games, be fun and silly, use Total Physical Response (TPR): adds physical movement in with language. Using physical movement to react to verbal input: reduces student inhibitions, lowers effective filter.

 

Coaching Styles – Which One Are You?

  1. Teacher

You are an expert in the field and coach by instruction, giving feedback, and demonstrating skills. You work from your knowledge and experience and focus on skill-based issues like performance skill. You coach on an ongoing basis over an extended period to build a broad but specific skill set. You often create development programs that lead coachees through a sequence of learning steps over time

2. Parent

You are committed to the long-term development of the coachee. You take a directive approach because of your hierarchical position or superior knowledge base. You may know better than your coachees, but your goal is to help coachees achieve equal status and effectiveness.

You are prone to giving career advice and take a strong interest in the coachees growth along many dimensions. You typically coach over an extended period of time and see coachees evolve significantly.

3. Manager

Your job keeps you very busy so you coach only in response to a specific need, focusing on the isolated skill or task you think needs improvement. You typically have a hierarchical relationship with the people you coach.

Your experience and expertise often make you more knowledgeable than coachees, so you tend to make performance observations, give feedback, and set expectations. You expect to see short term improvements.

4. Philosopher

You interact with your coachees only occasionally, and when you do, you are mainly concerned with the development of the whole person. Your guidance comes from a position of superior knowledge, expertise, or moral certitude – though your advice is not typically spiritual in nature. You often coach by telling stories or relating experiences from your own life. You enjoy using “words of wisdom” to assist coachees.

5. Facilitator

You have a long-term interest in helping coachees develop, and you focus on specific skill-based growth needs. You are often more highly skilled than coachees, but prefer that coachees work through issues themselves. You see your goal as helping others help themselves, and you refrain from giving advice or exercising authority. Often you are a team member or peer of those you coach and have a mutual coaching relationship.

6. Counsellor

You take a broad view of your coaching responsibility and strive, through a series of regular sessions, to help coachees develop the full spectrum of their capabilities. You believe in self-development, so you are encouraging and supportive, but refrain from telling coachees what they should do. You may not always be a subject matter expert and not necessarily has highly skilled where coachee wants help. Your role is to guide others through self-discovery.

7. Colleague

You often have a peer relationship with the coachee, and your preferred mode is to act as a thought partner or sounding board for your coachee. You generally coach only when asked, and focus entirely on specific skill-based needs. You may tell a coachee how you have done something previously, but you mainly coach by asking questions, listening, and thoughtfully responding to questions in order to help coachees solve problems for themselves.

8. Mentor

You serve primarily in an advisory role. You are generally older and far more experienced than the coachee, and you act as more of a shepherd – gently guiding in the right direction, choosing questions to help others discover a path

for themselves. You coach by example, setting a model with your own work and life. You coach infrequently because of your position or stature, but your coaching is likely to be very impactful.

Adapted from Effective Coaching (Bacon,1997)

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Next step after Graduating in the field of Conservation

After long days of studying, long hours classes, countless sleepless nights, challenges, obstacles, successes, failures, blood, sweat, and tears, the feeling of graduating from college is truly surreal.

One works so hard for what feels like a long-awaited day and then suddenly it dawns and then it feels like it went by so fast. In the blink of an eye, your entire college career is over and you’re on to the next chapter in life. It’s a pretty big deal.

Naturally, graduating gives us a plethora of emotions. It’s as if all of the fluctuating emotions we’ve experienced over the course of our college years bottles up into one huge melting pot of feelings, and it all just bursts on graduation day, but what to do next is normally the bit that hits us later and most often are times we find ourselves back up country (ushago) having sent numerous application letters for internships to the various conservation organizations with no response.

Well, I believe that’s what we’ve all gone through especially those of us who took up courses in the field of conservation. I’m in various conservation-related WhatsApp groups where the majority of my target audience are youths who have completed courses in this field eager to be engaged in any conservation organization for field exposure but have no leads.

Maybe having gone through the system I can assure you that it’s never easy but there’s always a starting point. From my personal experiences, I believe you can pick up a thing or two and at the end of the day get the much-desired exposure as you wait for a response for the numerous internship applications you’ve sent,

There are conservation organizations that I wish you could be part of either as a student or a volunteer if you’ve just cleared your course. This exposure made a great impact as a foundation for my career in the field of conservation. Just to highlight a few of them;

Friend of Nairobi National Park

FoNNaP is a non-profit, membership-driven organization dedicated to assisting the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in nurturing and preserving biodiversity within Nairobi National Park and the broader ecosystem to which the park belongs. We have noticed an upsurge of pressure on the survival of wildlife in the past years and here FoNNaP comes in.

FoNNaP works closely with KWS and communities adjacent to the park to develop and implement conservation and rangeland management projects in and around the park. Based at Langata Link (office No.1) Langata South Road, FoNNaP has been instrumental in the maintenance of rangelands south of the park keeping open sections of the wet season migration routes and dispersal areas historically used by wild animals.

FoNNaP remains committed to a cohesive conservation strategy allowing wildlife and community members to co-exist in the existing dispersal areas. Measures have been taken to mitigate human-wildlife conflict through the Lion Entry Deterrent (LED) Systems project. This project concurrently helps to conserve the environment as it uses solar-powered lights. FoNNaP members participate in the bi-monthly game count in and around the park to monitor the wildlife trends and movements for accurate documentation. They also benefit from informative meetings and activities such as lectures, walks or films each last Saturday of the month as part of our awareness campaign.

Members of the public are kept informed about the happenings of the park through FoNNaPs newsletters circulated online, interactive blogs, Facebook page and twitter handles. The funds raised from membership registration and merchandise sold such as T-shirts, Shirts, Books, Calendars, Wall hanging e.t.c. go towards supporting the FoNNaP office administration, supporting KWS security services for the park, lion lights installation, lobby, advocacy and educational activities. All of FoNNaPs activities are lots of fun!

Get close and personal by joining them

For details on how You can get involved or for further information, contact FoNNaP on fonnap1@gmail.com. To access the fonnap blog, visit http://fonnap.wordpress.com. On twitter, visit http://twitter.com/fonnapkenya.By telephone, FoNNaP can be reached on +254723690686

Friends of City Park

Friends of City Park is a volunteer organization that started in 1996 in response to various challenges faced at City Park including land grabbing, cutting of trees, garbage dumping and other pressures that kept on degrading the park. Our Dream is to ensure that every Nairobi Resident has Access to Green Space. Our five-year Vision is to see City Park clean, safe and accessible to all, especially children. It will have cultural, educational and nature activities. It will be conserved in spirit, content and function as a bio-diverse and historic park with secure boundaries.

Activities undertaken

  • Advocacy through education and publications: Over 250 activities at City Park including monthly nature walks, pollinators garden, educational treasure hunts for children and young adults, river clean-up, Nai ni Who events, tree planting.
  • Policy and Government support: to Nairobi City County Government, the National Museums of Kenya, National Environment Management Authority and the National Lands Commission in protecting, preserving and publicizing the park.
  • Scientific Inventory: In conjunction with experts from the National Museum of Kenya, we have conducted four baseline surveys of flora, fauna, river conditions and land tenure.
  • Monitoring and prevention of land grabs, habitat and cultural degradation by reporting of the destruction of the forest, loss of land, encroachment, publicity about infringement, coordination with government and demands for rehabilitation.
  • Training the next generation: Training nature guides and tourist guides and educating hundreds of children about nature.
  • Publicity: Working with the media on issues on conservation.

HOW TO BE INVOLVED

Please join our free mailing list and activities detailed on our webpage.

You can give a small contribution, even of KES 1,000/- to support us.

Please come for our free guided walks every first Saturday of the month.

Buy our guidebook. This is an excellent resource that talks about the park’s facilities, history and wildlife @ksh450

Tell everyone in your network about this incredible island of Beauty.

Contacts: Email: cityparkfriends@naturekenya.org, Phone: 0739200216

Website: http://friendsofcitypark.org

Nature Kenya

Nature Kenya—the East Africa Natural History Society (EANHS)—is Africa’s oldest environmental Society. We were established in 1909 to promote the study and conservation of nature in eastern Africa. Located at the National Museums of Kenya grounds, membership entails Unlimited free entry to Kenya’s National Museums and museum sites. My favourite activity since joining in 2012 free weekly guided nature walks with experienced and professional ornithologists.

Nature Kenya members today continue their active interest in natural history by joining working groups for Birds, Insects, Mammals and others, and action groups including Friends of Nairobi ArboretumFriends of City Park and the Nature Kenya Youth Committee.  The Society continues strategic research collaboration with the National Museums of Kenya, the host and home for the Society. A monthly newsletterannual magazine, regular e-mail notices and social media presence keep members and the public informed.

Volunteering with Nature Kenya

Volunteers are very valuable individuals who volunteer their time and expertise to provide an important service to Nature Kenya and help further its mission of connecting nature to people. In turn, Nature KENYA gives support that is useful in gaining valuable experiences and a sense of personal satisfaction. Nature Kenya committees and staff are only too happy to receive the assistance of volunteers from time to time. Volunteer appointments may last from 3 months to 1 year, although no specific time commitment is required

Activities at Nature Kenya and Museums of Kenya 

  • Enrol for an internship at the Zoology department and rotate through the Mammalogy, ichthyology and ornithology units for a great exposure from the staff 
  • Join the Tuesday bird ringing crew that happens every Tuesday and end month at Karara – Arocha in Karen and learn about Birds 
  • Join the Birdwalks to different locations led by Nature Kenya youth committee and also join the potluck activities. 
  • Volunteer with Nature Kenya youth committee during their awareness programmes in schools and hiking activities, tree planting on a different location 
  • Participate during the Biannual waterfowl counts within wetlands in Nairobi and on rift valley lakes 
  • Attend activities at the arboretum and free talks held by various scientists and organised groups at the Museums. 
  • Be a nature Kenya member and enjoy a variety of privileges inclusive of free museum entries around the country and participation in their activities.  

If you are interested in joining as a volunteer write to office@naturekenya.org

 

Wildlife Clubs of Kenya

I believe we have all been members of WCK at some point I normally ask my friends from campus who are yet to get absorbed or settled in the field of conservation ” are the schools around your home members of WCK?” most often the response is that they are not certain or have no idea. Guess its the same with you isn’t it…

You can become an ambassador start a wildlife club in the schools surrounding your neighbourhood, register the schools and get the pupils engaged in the various diverse programs that WCK has; from tree planting and starting up nurseries, conservation education and outreach programmes the list is endless and you have the potential and capacity through the support of the organization.

More than 2 Million youth have benefited from conservation education programmes since its inception and most people holding government and non-government jobs in tourism and environment-related disciplines owe their interest from being members of WCK in the youthful age.

WCK has over 3000 registered institutions and seven regional offices demarcated along broad thematic areas: Rift valley-alkaline lakes ecosystem, Nairobi-savannah grasslands ecosystems and Eastern-semi arid ecosystem. WCK encourages schools, colleges, individuals and organizations to be members and support conservation efforts. Member schools and colleges learn and participate in conservation activities.

You can register the schools and inspire the young pupils, organize for educational trips to various parks and by doing this you will have raw field exposure.

Membership benefits

3 issues of Komba-WCK magazine

Reduced fee to KWS Kenya National Parks and Reserves

Free lectures and video/slide shows

Borrowing wildlife video films at reduced rates

Memberships rate accommodation at WCK hostels

WCK roadshows by the Mobile Education Unit

Individual (Associate) and Cooperate members also enjoy the above benefits save for reduced fee to KWS Kenya National parks and Reserve as this is limited to school groups.

Interested parties are requested to contact us at the address below

The Membership Clerk

Wildlife Clubs of Kenya

PO BOX 20184,00200 Nairobi

winnie@wildlifeclubsofkenya.org/windwiga@yahoo.com

 The list of conservation organizations in East Africa is quite long, the exposure you require is closer than you think. Feel free to share your experience with us and help us inspire a fellow youth 

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Why Coals Poisonous Legacy is Unwelcome in Lamu Kenya

Lamu old town is a picturesque Swahili town frozen in time and embellished with antique Swahili settlement architecture, illuminated daily by glowing sunrises and sunsets. Turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean playfully lap its idyllic shores that have remained cocooned away from the dictates of ‘modern’ life. Intricate winding streets too narrow for cars are dotted with donkeys, the main mode of transport in this oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement.

Grand and elaborately engraved house doors line either side of the streets forming a delightful guard of honour as one strolls through this 700-year-old town. So unique is this hidden iconic treasure that Lamu old town is inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage site List along with other quintessential cultural sites like Tahj Mahal in India, Timbuktu in Mali, Old City of Jerusalem in Israel and Giza Pyramids in Egypt. As visitors and tourists can attest, the real treasure of Lamu is its warm, kind, welcoming people who have by and large maintained their cultural way of life and preserved their pristine environment. While the rest of Kenya contends with an alarming reduction of forest cover, Lamu County has approximately 18% forest cover, is home to unique indigenous forests as well as 70% of all the mangrove forest in Kenya. Lamu old town is located on Lamu Island which forms part of the greater Lamu County which is comprised of mainland Lamu and the Lamu Archipelago.

A planned 1050MW coal-fired power plant to be located in Kenya at Kwasasi, about 21km from Lamu old town threatens to shatter not only this world heritage site but also the health, environment and livelihoods of Lamu County residents. 975 acres of farmland, mangrove forests and indigenous flora are to be cleared to set up the fossil fuel plant. Grave and legitimate concerns have been raised ranging from the economic viability of the project to detailing how the plant will irreversibly alter livelihoods, fragile ecosystems, fishing grounds and air quality of Lamu mainland and the Lamu Archipelago. The proposed 2.1 billion dollar plant is a project of Amu Power Company Ltd. The plant will unsurprisingly be largely funded by financiers from China, which is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Not to be left out, the American conglomerate General Electric (GE) in 2018 signed an agreement to design, construct, maintain the coal plant as well as a proposed share acquisition in Amu Power.

At the heart of opposition to the planned plant are the correlated environmental and health ramifications of coal power production. Ahmed Ali, founder of Lamu Youth Alliance is deeply concerned. He contends that Lamu residents may soon be breathing toxic air and eating tainted food cultivated on lands contaminated with heavy metals from acid rain, all because of an uneconomical and superfluous project. Ahmed added that the unwarranted and controversial developments like the coal plant or the massive port under construction will not only impact the cultural heritage in Lamu but may also lead to a loss of UNESCO world cultural Heritage Status.

Coal ash from the plant will be disposed in ash pits which will inevitably contaminate groundwater, ocean waters and marine ecosystem through leaching, spills or even monitored discharges. most residents in Lamu depend on wells and borehole water for domestic use and contaminated groundwater is thus a real and potent health risk. An analysis of 2018 data from 265 coal-fired power plants in the USA carried out by the Environmental Integrity Project and Earthjustice found that 91% of those plants were contaminating groundwater with unsafe levels of coal ash heavy metals like arsenic.

Nitrous oxides from coal combustion cause cardiovascular and lung diseases and children are particularly susceptible to such airborne pollutants. Particulate matter from coal combustion is associated with smog, respiratory diseases, cardiac diseases, low birth weight and premature births. Sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxides similarly contribute to the formation of nitrates and acid rain which acidifies water bodies, damages vegetation and coastal ecosystems. Whereas the above repercussions will be felt profoundly in Lamu, neighbouring counties and the country in general, the plants carbon dioxide emissions will spawn global consequences. Carbon dioxide emissions from this single plant will equal the current total emissions of Kenya’s entire energy sector thus doubling the national carbon dioxide emissions and contributing to accelerated climate change. Manda bay area where the plant is to be situated is endowed with extensive mangrove forest, seagrass beds and coral reefs. Dredging to operationalize the plant will result in permanent loss of those habitats. Warm water discharge from the plant and into the sensitive Lamu marine ecosystem will be detrimental to organisms like corals and other marine creatures but conducive for invasive species to thrive. Khadija Shekuwe, the coordinator of Save Lamu, believes that the plant is detrimental. “Communities in Lamu are marginalised and women in rural-based marginalised communities experience marginalisation quite acutely. Such a toxic project only aggravates the state of affairs.” She also stressed that Lamu residents generally struggle to meet their basic needs and will not afford healthcare for ailments caused by coal combustion. Khadija added that boreholes in Lamu which residents, especially women, depend on for water for domestic use was turning salty and contamination of groundwater will exacerbate the water stress or force residents to consume contaminated water.

There is a global coming to terms with the toxicity of coal and its longstanding hazardous effects on human health and the environment. Coal consumption for energy production in the US energy sector has been shrinking for 12 years and is projected to decline by a further 8% in 2019. Across the Atlantic, EU leaders have endorsed the objective of reducing Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 – 95 % by 2050, as compared with their 1990 levels. The German Coal Commission has recommended coal-fired power generation be completely ended by 2038. Coal energy is peddled as being low-cost. However, when factored in, the social and environmental costs of coal-generated electricity like pollution, greenhouse gases and terminal diseases make the full price of coal-fired electricity substantially expensive. Justification for such a counterproductive development in Kenya is lacking bearing in mind that demand for electricity has not outstripped supply. Kenya’s peak energy demand currently stands at about 1,832MW against a total installed capacity of 2,351MW. Plans to increase energy generation capacity should focus on renewable energy. Kenya is endowed with a mix of renewables like geothermal, hydro, wind, solar and biomass which are all begging to be harnessed. Installed geothermal energy capacity stands at 690 MW against a potential capacity of between 7,000 MW to 10,000 MW. A host of geothermal plants are planned and the 54.6MW Garissa Solar plant commenced operations in late 2018. The Lake Turkana Wind power farm is now operational and is expected to add about 310MW when operating at maximum capacity. Renewable energy is capable of sustaining energy demands in Kenya for the foreseeable future as rapid technological advancements in the renewable sector gather pace. The injection of the above Megawatts into the national grid has made the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) change the tune. The ERC which had earlier dismissed objections raised by civil society and energy specialists about the viability of the coal plant released a statement warning that creating too much-installed capacity without proven demand to absorb the same will lead to under-utilised capacity which must be paid for by end-consumers. The regulator also recommended that projects like the planned coal and nuclear plants be delayed for some years and the capacity of the 1050MW coal plant be reduced by half. This shift of stance is profusely welcome yet worrying for it points to either poor strategic planning by authorities in the sector or mischief by politicians and ‘tenderpreneurs’ wanting to force through an unnecessary project just to make profits. The project ought not to be slowed down but entirely done away with.

The Kenyan Constitution guarantees the right to a clean and healthy environment including the right to have the environment protected for the benefit of present and future generations. Coal is considered the dirtiest of all fuels and is therefore at absolute odds with the right to a clean and healthy environment. Omar Elmawi of Decoalonize Africa which works to halt new coal infrastructure in Africa while encouraging clean, renewable energy questions why the government plans to utilise dirty fuel while the President continues pledging a 100% transition to green energy to help fight climate change. Mr Elmawi also expressed frustration at the impending loss of livelihood for fishermen who operate out of Manda Bay where warm water from the plant will be released into the ocean. He also faulted the transparency of the planned resettlement process for those who whose farmland are to be compulsorily acquired since there have been allegations of imposters appearing on the government compensation list for the planned compulsory acquisition while some affected landowners were allegedly allocated smaller acreage for compensation as compared to the land to be compulsorily acquired.

Coal remains the most polluting source of energy while renewable energy is a more sustainable economic development option, especially where the demand for energy is not acute. Kenyans must not be subjected to such levels of toxic pollution by an economically unfeasible project while viable opportunities of renewable sources of energy exist.

 

About the author

Leslie Olonyi is an Environment and Natural resources Lawyer. He is also a Mandela Washington Fellow under the Young African Leadership Initiative (YALI) and the UN Environment 2019 Kenya Bio Voice in the Africa Bio Voices Project.

Follow him on twitter @safarijunkie

 

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Call for Volunteers Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions #gmerl2019

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8 AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12 pm and 2 pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12pm and 2pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

This is an invitation to you to support the Global March Nairobi Edition, which takes place on April 13th 2019.

We shall be marching 10KM from National Museums of Kenya at 8 AM TO Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarter where we aim to arrive at 12. Marching, singing, chanting, dancing, spreading the message to all near and far, making sure our voice is heard both national and international media.
Then between 12 pm and 2 pm we shall have Edutainment, Exhibitions, music (live performances) networking opportunities, and speeches from our esteemed guest speakers.

As you know, the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions (GMFERL) is a worldwide call to action to condemn the poaching of elephants, rhinos and the trafficking of wildlife trophies. It is a call for governments, civil society, grass root communities, media and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborative towards ensuring the survival of elephants and rhinos.

This year we are advocating for our stance as a country and as the Continent of Africa at CITES Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species. We want to not only let our voice as Kenya be heard on the issues that matter most to us from closing domestic markets of Ivory Trade, to protecting our Giraffes, Whales, Pan Cake Tortoise, Pangolin, Lion and rhino by ensuring their protection on a local and international scale is at its highest. But we also want Africa to realize that an animal does not need a visa to roam across our borders, and the actions of any African country in regards to our wildlife and biodiversity affects us all and hence we must speak with ONE VOICE if the future of our wildlife is to be safeguarded.

This year we are hosting the biggest march yet and in order to do that, we need an army of dedicated, disciplined, energetic passionate volunteers.

Any information needed about the march please email Info@suso.world or vincento@wildlifedirect.org

See you there

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THE ROLE OF WILDLIFE DISPERSAL CORRIDORS IN WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT

Globally, one of the main biodiversity challenges is the loss of connectivity in wildlife conservation areas mainly due to human-induced factors that exert pressure on land and water resources. Indeed, many protected areas are too small to maintain viable populations of African wildlife. Despite diverse species inhabiting savannas and have for a long time had expansive habitats to utilize, the savanna ecosystem is increasingly under threat from habitat fragmentation and loss of wildlife dispersal areas to agriculture and human settlement.

Land fragmentation represents an obstacle to maintaining ecological connectivity and viable wildlife populations. Reduced landscape connectivity and impeded movements may result in higher mortality, lower population viability and lower production leading to smaller populations. In view of their great mobility and extensive spatial requirements for survival, large mammals are vulnerable to fragmentation effects.

The fragmentation effects result when animals within populations are unable to cross to connecting habitats, access mates or other biological requirements. These effects have underscored the need to maintain and restore essential movements of wildlife species particularly those with high traffic volumes, it is for this reason that wildlife corridors are constructed.

 

CORRIDORS/FENCE GAPS AND USE OF CAMERA TRAPS FOR MONITORING AT OL PEJETA CONSERVANCY

Infrared cameras used at the fence gaps to monitor wildlife traffic in and out of the conservancy coloured pictures taken during the daytime while black and white at night

A wildlife corridor is an area of habitat connecting wildlife populations separated by human activities or structures such as roads development or logging. This allows an exchange of individuals between population, which may help prevent the negative effect of inbreeding and may moderate some of the worst effects of habitat fragmentation.

Elephants Entering OL Pejeta from Mutara using the corridor

 The OL Pejeta Conservancy has well-modified wildlife corridors/ fence gaps classified according to their width indirectly proportional to size and number of animals using it. All animals are free to more in and out of the conservancy by way of specially constructed game corridors that only restrict the movement of rhinos knee high post in the ground, situated very close together present no challenge for elephant rates, antelope and carnivores that are easily able to jump or step over. Rhinos are unable to do this and as a result, are restricted from moving into areas where they are in danger of being slaughtered for their horn it also operates a successful livestock program which serves to benefits local pastoralist and wildlife. 

 The OlPejeta conservancy have got three constructed corridor  located on the Northern part of the conservancy with the reason being that to the Southern part of it there is small scale farming taking place by the local communities inhibited the area, the northern corridors enable dispersal of wildlife to the greater Laikipia ecosystem thus increasing their probability of survival and range while at the same time reducing pressure on the conservancy.

Connectivity is essential between adjacent conservation areas

 Advantages of the corridors

  •   They  allow the wild animals to have the freedom of movement in and out the other protected areas such as Mt. Kenya National Park, Mutara ranch, Solio ranch
  • They help prevent inbreeding of animal in order to acquire strong genes from other species of animals away from the protected area
  •    Helps the conservancy to acquire species of animal that they don’t have on  their records of wild animal species of OlPejeta through the aid of the camera traps
  •     Help elephants from breaking the fence thus promoting good wildlife management techniques

         Help in developing the checklist of wild animals within the protected area this is done through monitoring the footprints of the wild animals in the process of animals moving in and out of the protected area and through the images captured by the cameras which operate even at night.

    

            Although game corridor has numerous advantages there are still some challenges in line with the management such as:

  • Competition for natural resources such as food, space, cover and water 
  • Disease reservoir for livestock example zoonosis  transmission of disease can be from livestock to   wild animal 
  • Livestock predation example is lion predating against cow  

           

Connectivity within adjacent conservation areas is inevitable, fence gaps are the best alternatives

           Way forward 

 Wildlife corridors are not proposed as mitigation for loss of core habitat.  However, with careful planning and design, wildlife corridors can help reduce the negative effects of habitat fragmentation by allowing dispersal of individuals between large patches of remaining habitat.  While additional study on the efficacy of wildlife corridors is necessary, some general principles of evaluation and design are available and should be implemented.  Monitoring the use of corridors by target wildlife species is an important step in corridor planning, to allow for adaptive management. 

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ANNUAL NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL COMPETITION 2019

Every year, from the 1st of January to the 31st of March AFEW  Giraffe Center normally has an environmental competition. This year is no exception, are you a student with a passion for environmental conservation? or better yet have a sibling or know of or a young individual whose talented in drawing? or a school teacher? Well, the annual national environmental competition 2019 is calling for participants, and if you know of anyone in the cader or if you are eligible then don’t hesitate here is your opportunity to portray your talent and get awarded for it.

  This is an environmental competition hosted by AFEW Giraffe Centre. Its aim is to encourage Kenyan students to get involved in environmental conservation through Art and essay writing. The winners of the competition are awarded gifts and the best of the best get to go on a one-week safari around different conservancies and national parks around Kenya, free of charge.

The poster above elaborates more about all you need to know about the competition, there’s something for everyone. Get started, circulate the poster to the schools around you or better yet share it with the students and teachers you know and for the tertiary level students, here is your opportunity to make your best of your writing skills “personally this is where my writing skills came to play” so make the best out of your talents, bring in your creativity and zeal for conservation.

The top prize of a one week adventure on a fully sponsored safari for the trophy winners to some of the best touristic destinations in Kenya should not just pass you, dare to take part. https://www.giraffecentre.org/

 

 

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Ocean plastic a ‘planetary crisis’ Citizens must change habits

Beach tourism both domestic and international has really picked especially during the festive holidays all through to the new year, there’s one major setback, The Beach Plastic Pollution Crisis. About eight million tonnes of plastic are dumped into the ocean yearly, according to the UN Environment Department

The plastics endanger fish and birds and other creatures, who mistake it for food or become entangled in it, Marine pollution is increasingly becoming a problem along the Kenyan coast. Heavy metals and organochlorine pollutants have the potential to damage the delicate marine ecosystem with the result that the country’s important foreign exchange earner – tourism – could seriously be affected.

State of things in the evening at Mama ngina public beach aka Pirates

Plastic waste has also entered the human food chain with health consequences that are not yet fully understood, I have been taking evening beach walks and the state of things is disturbing, despite the ban in plastic bags, the crisis of plastic bottles needs to be looked into and drastic measures implemented.

Ban the pep bottles and plastic related packaging, collect and recycle what already everywhere in heaps and pits, and impose a rather unreasonable penalty for producing, handling or being in possession of plastic.

The coastal zone resources are however under increasing pressure due to a rapidly growing population. Population growth has resulted in increased demand for goods and services, rapid urbanization, industrialisation and associated problems of solid waste and effluent discharge in urban centres. Expansion of agricultural activities in the rural areas has continued to open-up indigenous forest cover and riparian zones of rivers such as Tana and Sabaki river basins resulting in increased soil erosion through runoff. This pressure on the resources calls for a deliberate effort to alleviate adverse impact from pollution and ensure sustainable development.

Currently, the UN Environment has partnered with Safaricom and the National Environment Management Agency to establish an end-to-end plastic waste management programme. The partnership will see the creation of a working group that brings together stakeholders, mostly manufacturers, waste collectors and plastic waste recyclers, to formulate a comprehensive solution to hard plastic waste.

Despite all these efforts, it’s up to us ordinary citizens to step up to minimize plastic pollution, littering is not done by any government body but ourselves.

Partnerships with governments, private sector companies and the general public are key to eliminate plastic pollution

The promotion of mass tourism targeting the coastal area has exerted pressure on, not only the marine resources but also utilities, with the high demand for freshwater, estimated at between 300 and 500 litres per capita-day compared to a minimum requirement of 40 litres per capita-day. While estimated pollution loads due to beach tourist establishments are relatively low, there is always the risk of localized pollution hotspots which can be hazardous to tourists and is of public health concern.

Because throw-away plastic creates environmental pollution and takes fossil fuels to produce, cutting back on its use is important to curb climate change and improve the environment.

Plastic packaging, especially the ubiquitous plastic bag is a significant source of landfill waste and is regularly eaten by numerous marine and land animals, to fatal consequences. Synthetic plastic does not biodegrade. It just sits and accumulates in landfills or pollutes the environment. Plastics have become a municipal waste nightmare, prompting local governments all over the world to implement plastic bag, and increasingly polystyrene (styrofoam), bans.

While plastic has many valuable uses, we have become over-reliant on single-use or disposable plastic – with severe environmental consequences. Around the world, one million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute. Every year we use up to 5 trillion disposable plastic bags. In total, 50 per cent of the plastic we use is single use. Because of this, it will be wise for Kenyans to make bold steps and consider ways on how we can make changes in everyday lives to reduce the heavy burden of plastic pollution on natural places, forests, wildlife and in our own health.

At high tide, the litter will be carried into the ocean

 

“Beat Plastic Pollution”, the theme for World Environment Day 2018, was a call to action for all of us to come together to combat one of the great environmental challenges of our time. A healthy environment is essential for a prosperous and peaceful future. We all have a role to play in protecting our environment-the only home, but it can be difficult to know what to do or where to start. That is why last year’s World Environment Day had just one request: beat plastic pollution. If you cannot reuse it, refuse it. 

If you need some help with where to start, check out these easy ways you can reduce your plastic usage and keep our oceans clean and healthy.

  • Do not litter
  • Carry your own litter i.e water bottles, sweet wrappers, yoghurt tetra packs and drop at the closest allocated bin
  • Bring or reuse your own shopping bags
  • Get alternative shopping bags that are environmentally friendly
  • Pressure food suppliers to use non-plastic packaging
  • Carry water in your water bottle which you will simply be refilling
  • Refuse plastic cutlery
  • Pick up any plastic you see the next time you go for a walk on the beach and by the roadside
  • When going for a beach picnic or lunch carry your food in reusable containers
  • Say no to straws
  • Give up chewing gum while at the beach

 

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Kenya’s Elephant Man- Wake up call for Kenyans to own wildlife

Jim Justus Nyamu has literally walked across the globe to create awareness on the plight of Elephants, locally known as ‘Kenya’s Elephant Man’ Jim has just completed a walk from Kenya all the way down to Botswana the south of Africa where According to CITES, four countries namely South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa down listed their elephant population from Appendix I to II in 2008, there has been global and continental efforts in reverting this decision in view of ending domestic trade on ivory that has escalated poaching across South and East African region. Africa host about 415,000 elephants according to Africa Elephant Data Base with some countries almost losing their elephants due to poaching, habitats loss and climate change.

As an elephant enthusiast, Nyamu has been trained, honoured and awarded on several occasions such as an awarded on Professional Development Grant (WWF), where he attended an International Elephant and Rhino Conservation research Symposium Rotterdam at Netherlands, Colorado State University& National Museum. Wildlife migration, awarded a Research Fellowship Rufford grant, Biodiversity Research Program, attended the Global Human Right Leadership Training Institute Ibadan University Nigeria, took part at Earth Watch Darwin Initiative Magadi: Field techniques for biodiversity Monitoring program.

Nyamu is an active member of the Kenya Elephant Forum, Ecological Society of Eastern Africa (ESEA), and Wildlife Clubs of Kenya. Through his field research, Nyamu has consolidated a lot of elephant knowledge on several publications and articles.

Jim founded Elephant Neighbors Center in Feb 2012, he is currently directing the three programs Conservation and Research, Education program and community based natural resource and management (CBNRM) supported by WWF-EFN USA.

Recently Jim in his bid to protect the African elephant and secure landscapes for them has been engaged in a campaign walk dubbed “Ivory Belongs to Elephants Walk”. The campaign involves Jim walking to raise awareness on the value of elephants, how to mitigate human-elephant conflict and to raise awareness on poaching.

It’s in this spirit that Jim lead an East – South Africa Grass –Elephant campaign and awareness walk. The 180 days walk aimed at covering approximately 4500km aiming at one (mapping the elephant movement (trans-regional) from East – South Africa secondly showing the residents/nations how significant it is in safeguarding these long corridors and thirdly lobbying for an amalgamated wildlife anti-poaching and trafficking strategy from the two regions. Lastly, this walk also diplomatically asked the four countries namely Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa to take their elephant population in Appendix I. These four countries are the only in Africa whose elephant population is in Appendix II and they can legally trade on elephants and have negatively affected the neighbouring countries/region.

After his arrival back in Kenya Jim took some time off to reconnect with Nature and had the following remarks “After spending 3 days in Amboseli National Park, doing game drives in out of the park!! I feel like the park’s future is not promising to look at the ongoing land use changes, there are new farms and new fences in some areas previously used to be dispersal areas.

The implication to the above issues will cause.
(1) High human-Wildlife conflict. Wildlife and in particular elephants spend very little time in the park and a lot of time outside the park. The end result will be most of the wildlife will be breaking on these farms, raiding and damaging community properties. The current wildlife and management Act acknowledge and stipulate wildlife damage compensation, this act is now 4 years old and so far much has not been done! It’s going to be very hard for KWS to deal with this monster ( Mitigating Human-wildlife conflict).

(2) The second issue will be; loss of wildlife I.e. Giraffe, Zebra and Elephants! Amboseli host very few lions and the above species will have a lot of problems since they spend a lot of time foraging outside the park. Some will trapped by these fences and others may be speared or killed.

These are serious issues that require a collective efforts from both, Kajiado County, like-minded ministries which include; Agriculture, Lands, Tourism and Wildlife. All is not lost but we things are not looking good.”

Personally, I have interacted with Jim for a couple of years, as a wildlife management student I did take part in two of his walks; one as he walked from Mombasa to Nairobi and during the East Africa Ivory belongs to Elephants walk and I can tell you for free it does have an impact, when civilians come in their multitudes to witness a group of dedicated individuals who stop to talk to them in the various towns about the plight of wildlife.

Walking alongside Jim during The Ivory belongs to Elephants East Africa Walk in 2016

I recently met up with Jim and got to interview him,

 1. What motivated you to walk for Elephants?
The idea behind the walk came about after interacting with the general public at Galleria mall 2012 during elephant day.I noted most people that included government officials were ignorant towards elephant conservation and how elephant poaching affect our livelihoods.
2. How Many walks and appropriate kms have you covered so far?

Since 2013 I have walked 17,570kms in Kenya, East Africa , US , UK and South Africa . I have done 15 walks so far.
3. When is your next walk?
I have two walks coming next year 2019. ( 1) In March 40 days I will be walking in Jordan ( Jordan trails ) about 600km.
(2) July -Nov 2019 I will walk from Nairobi – South Sudan-Ethiopia-Djibouti to Eritrea
4. Tell us about your documentary and publication that you are currently working on .

We are working on my documentary in particular on the just ended East South Africa Elephant walk and will be released in Feb 2019.

I am also working on my diary and hopefully by Feb it’s will be ready and published as well as my 10 learning lesson points which I will be presenting in schools , universities and to the stakeholders.
5. How can well wishers support you.

My campaign walks are supported by different people’s and wildlife agencies or NGO’s. I also sell t-shirts , hoodies & wristbands in support of this campaign with a message on them. One can use our mchanga account account no 891300 Account name ENC. This campaign needs atleast one support vehicle (Landcruizer) and we are looking for a one before the next walk.
6. Your message for the Kenyan youths.

Youths need to participate in conservation and environmental conservation practically, one they need to know how they affect our livelihoods directly and indirectly. They also need to visit parks and this will improve their attitudes towards wildlife conservation as most of them have negative attitudes driven by perpetual attitudes. They need to start up opportunities such as use social media in promoting domestic tourism and this will create jobs for many youths.

 

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Dealing with Wildlife poisoning in Kenya- Scavengers dilemma

Scavenging animals in Kenya are on high alert. What used to be a delicacy has recently become their death bed.

Wildlife poisoning has emerged as one of the major threats affecting our wildlife populations in Kenya. Aggrieved persons have resorted to using poisonous chemicals in retaliation for human-wildlife conflict cases, for example, lemme take you back to December 2015 when two Lions from the famous Marsh Pride and 15 White-Backed vultures were poisoned alongside other species in the Maasai Mara ecosystem as a result of retaliatory killing due to conflict.

Wildlife poisoning is a silent killer that indiscriminately kills large numbers of animals and is harmful to human and ecological health. A poison is any substance that can cause severe organ damage or death if ingested, breathed in or absorbed through the skin. The use of poison to kill wildlife is silent, cheap and easy and has, therefore, become a common method used in the illegal control of damage-causing animals, harvesting fish and bushmeat, harvesting animals for belief-based uses, poaching for wildlife products, and killing of wildlife sentinels.

Poisoning of birds, including migratory species, occurs year-round in Kenya’s rice schemes and in other water bodies. Fish are also harvested using poisons and both poisoned fish and birds make their way to local markets where they are often sold to unsuspecting customers with potentially grave impacts for human health.

The Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013, has identified wildlife poisoning as one of the major wildlife crimes that is punishable by law. Poisoning has had a profound negative effect on our carnivores: lions, hyenas, leopards, cheetahs, and wild dogs, and on birds of prey: vultures, eagles and other scavengers. Aquatic species including fish have also been affected due to water pollution with poisonous chemicals.

Common Chemicals Used to Poison Wildlife in Kenya

There are a number of toxic chemicals such as agro-chemicals, plant-based extracts and heavy metals which have been used in the illegal poisoning of wildlife in Kenya. Over the last 8 years, the majority of poisoning incidents have been carried out using agro-chemicals which can be broadly classified as pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, acaricides. The most commonly used pesticides are organophosphates, pyrethroids and carbamates.

During the period between 2009 and 2017, some of the wildlife poisoning incidents and chemical compounds identified are summarized below.

Year Month Species affected Number affected Chemical (Compound identified) Location County
2009 Apr Lion 1 Carbamate Maasai Mara Narok
2009 Apr Vultures 40 Carbamate Maasai Mara Narok
2010 Vultures 20 Amitraz (Acaricide) Maasai Mara Narok
2011 Feb Fish Mass die off Pyrethroid Maasai Mara Narok
2011 Elephant 1 Ouabain (Plant extract) Siyapei Narok
2014 Lions 5 Carbamate Ngurumani Kajiado
2015 July Lions 1 Carbamate Laikipia
2015 Nov Lions 2 Carbamate Maasai Mara Narok
2015 Nov Vultures 15 Carbamate Maasai Mara Narok
2016 Feb Elephants 2 Carbamate Maasai Mara Narok
2016 Elephant 1 Ouabain (Plant extract) Tsavo Taita Taveta
2017 May Elephants 2 Pyrethroid Ngurumani kajiado

Table1; Summary of chemical compounds, wildlife species affected, location and year (KWS 2017)

Some of the clinical symptoms to look for in Suspected Poisoned Animal

Clinical symptoms of poisoned animals Generally, animals display similar symptoms of poisoning depending on their taxa. Poisoned mammals may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Paralysis
  • Muscle spasm
  • Vomiting
  • Severe dehydration
  • Drooling of saliva/ hyper-salivation
  • Increased tearing/ hyper-lacrimation
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Convulsions
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

Poisoned bird species may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Unable to fly
  • Paralysis
  • Convulsions
  • Drooping wings
  • Blood in the droppings
  • Skin irritation
  • Drooping dead
  • Mass-die-offs

Poisoning of animals around Mara ecosystem is on the rise and drastic measures need to be put in place to curb the menace. On 22nd November a concerned friend of mine who runs a tour firm www.namnyaksafaris.com sent me the photo and video of a tawny eagle which evidently was poisoned, this was at Oloolaimutia and I advised him to report the incidence to the local authority which he had already done.

Credit www.namyaksafaris.com

 

 All wildlife poisoning cases requiring treatment should be handled by qualified veterinarians registered by KWS

If you ever come across Poisoning cases that require rehabilitation  in Kenya are to be referred to KWS Nairobi Animal orphanage or to KWS approved orphanages some of which are listed below among others;

Nairobi Animal Orphanage

Tel: 020 2379407, 020 6002345,  020-2379408, 020-2379409, 020-2379410, 020-2379411, 020-2379412, 020-2379413, 020-2379414,

Call Center: 0800 597 000 or 0800 221 5566

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

Tel: 0202 301396, 0733 891996

Raptor Rehabilitation Center Karen, Nairobi

Tel: +254721969640/ 0723829529

For further reading refer to Response Protocol to Wildlife Poisoning Incidents in Kenya February 2018

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Community Engagement in Environmental conservation, Lessons from Rwanda

Meet Edwin Sabuhoro PHD, a Rwandese national and an unsung wildlife warrior. He received his law degree from the National University of Rwanda and a MSc. Conservation and Tourism from University of Kent at Canterbury, UK where he specialized in ecotourism management. He worked in all Rwanda’s National Parks but mostly as a Tourism Park Warden for Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.

Beyond that, Edwin worked as a Senior Economic Development Advisor for SNV (a Dutch development organization), Chairman of Tour Operators and Travel Agents Association in Rwanda, President of Rwanda Chamber of Tourism, a private sector umbrella organization for Rwanda’s tourism and hospitality sector, Chief Executive Officer for Rwanda Eco-Tours and has also lectured at different Universities in Rwanda in fields of environment, ecotourism, biodiversity conservation and sustainable tourism development.

His work to develop ecotourism and to set up a community-based ecotourism project for local communities and ex-poachers at Volcanoes National Park has helped in the reduction of poaching in the park. His work was recognized through; Rwandan Prime Minister’s award of excellence in 2004, Eco-club project of the year 2007, Royal Belum inaugural award in Malaysia in 2007 and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Young Conservationist of the year 2008 Award.

He represents young conservation professionals for East, West and Central Africa at IUCN World Commission for Protected Areas. He also represented Rwanda to the President Obama Young African Leaders Forum in Washington, USA and has continued to participate and speak in different forums that highlight youth empowerment, biodiversity and environment, sustainability and community development, democracy, and leadership.

I got the privilege to hear him talk about his success story during the recent Africa Animal Welfare conference and was inspired beyond any reasonable doubt. How I wish other African countries could emulate their model globally. Environmental conservation has been a challenge due to increased pressure on natural resources brought about by an increase in the human population and uncontrolled harvesting on natural resources.

He explained clearly how the pressure for environmental resources is attributed to the inability of communities to support their household livelihoods. Secondly, in this struggle to protect and conserve these resources, conservationists and scientists alike have forgotten to involve and include local communities as a key decision maker. As a result, local communities have remained as ” the forgotten” in the environmental conservation equation. Conservation will not succeed without putting the local communities back to their central position in the conservation of their resources.

Through his work he has proved, that communitie are the custodians of these resources and they have to be engaged and involved in the planning and management of these resources. To address these challenges, local communities have to be directly engaged and involved in the business of environmental conservation. By doing so, communities would be less detrimental to these resources, find alternatives that would lead to their improved livelihoods, and contribute more to the protection and conservation of the environment.

“We have the choice to use the gift of our life to make the world a better place or not to bother” Jane Goodall may we take this inspiring success story as a personal challenge, sit down with community groups and take notes from them because they have all the solutions. Let’s bring in Eco-tourism to strike a win-win balance between conservationists and local communities.

 

 

If a Gorilla safari is top on your bucket list like myself get in touch with Rwanda Eco tours for a journey that benefits the communities. http://www.rwandaecotours.com/index.php/