Climate change impacts are having an effect on the survival of wildlife.
The Principal Secretary for Wildlife Sylvia Museiya says the government is putting in place measures both mitigation and adaptation to ensure wildlife survival.
Speaking after opening the Extraordinary Meeting of the 13th Governing Council of Parties to the Lusaka Agreement in Nairobi, the Principal Secretary said that among the interventions put in place include both adaptation, mitigation and building resilience.
“We intend to deal with climate change in three ways, by mitigation, by adaptation and by building resilience. Mitigation is by provision of water grass packing, storage of hay and just to make sure that we are ready for the drought,” she said and added, “by adaptation is we provide solutions as problems arise, we do water tracking for our wild animals, we provide hay during drought seasons, we provide supplements and of course we build resilience over time.”
Museiya who opened the Governing Council of Parties to the Lusaka Agreement bringing together Kenya, Congo Brazzaville, Lesotho, Liberia, Tanzania and Zambia with Ethiopia, eSwatini and South Africa as signatories said that owing to the rising population and the continued pressure on wildlife habitats, measures are in place to implement the Kenya Wildlife Service research report that indicates the wildlife dispersal areas with some being turned into conservancies.
“We are doing a lot of capacity building for county governments on spatial planning so that there are ecosystem management plans and management plans for either national parks or conservancy and to include wildlife planning so that every county there are areas for human settlement, for livestock, agriculture and for conservation,” said Museiya.
The Acting Director General of the Kenya Wildlife Service Dr. Erastus Kanga noted that owing to successful fight against poaching, the elephant population has been increasing adding that measures are being put in place to reduce cases of human wildlife conflict.
“Climate change is one of threats to wildlife survival that is forcing elephants and other wildlife into community landscapes and that is pushing our human wildlife conflict incidences higher, we are off the hook of poaching, human wildlife conflict is the next frontier of the fight,” says the Director General.
He noted that the fight on poaching has seen the practice brought down, there has not been any poaching on both rhinos and elephants, adding that KWS is on high alert, “We have completely suppressed poaching,” says Kanga, and adds, “during the drought we lost some 300 elephants but our numbers are going up we are at 37,000 elephants.”
The Council of Parties to the Lusaka Agreement was established to help pool resources and forge a regional front in stemming organized local and transnational wildlife crime, which endangers the survival of protected wildlife and threatens the socio-economic, and environmental sustainability.
With wildlife crime as the 4th internationally after drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal small arms, the PS said that the meeting in Nairobi is expected to deliberate on pertinent matters that will crystalize into proposals and recommendations “that shall be presented for consideration and adoption by the ministerial session of the Governing Council.
“I believe that this meeting will be successful in formulating plausible strategies for the effective implementation of the Agreement,” she added and urged member states to find home based solutions to wildlife crime.