WEBINAR: COVID-19, Conservation and Wildlife Tourism
The Kenyan Department of Tourism and Wildlife hosted a webinar around the topic Covid-19: Sustainability & Remodelling of Wildlife Sector in early May of this year.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic is causing unprecedented health and economic challenges globally. In Kenya, the wildlife sector is experiencing severe threat of unprecedented magnitude due to the collapse of the tourism industry. Kenya has a total of 27 National Parks, 34 Reserves, and 161 Community Conservancies, in total covering an area of about 16% of the Kenya landmass. The collapse of the tourism industry has left parks, reserves, and conservancies exposed, and stripped of the vital source of funds for their day-to-day management, operations, and ensuing wildlife security.
This situation will inevitably lead to escalation in poaching for trophy and demand for bushmeat. Human-Wildlife Conflicts (HWC) are already on the raise with increasing movement of wildlife outside conservation areas; and, drastic reduction in the capacity to respond to HWC cases has resulted in deaths and serious injuries. The purpose of this Webinar is to create a platform to dialogue and examine successes and failures in the wildlife sector, and bring forth a conversation on the future of wildlife in Kenya post-Covid-19. Moving forward we wish to create interest and opportunities for sustainable models in wildlife conservation, where communities and land-owners benefit from their co-existence with wildlife.
Dr. Helen Gichohi – Conservation Ambassador for FFI
1. Hon Najib Balala – Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife
2. Prof. Fred Segor – Principal Secretary, State Department for Wildlife
3. Brig. (Rtd) John Waweru – Director General, Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS)
4. Simon Mordue – Ambassador of the European Union to Kenya(Donor Representative)
5. Giles Davies – Conservation Capital
6. Dickson Kaelo – Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA)
7. Dr. Winnie Kiiru – Elephant Protection Initiative (Conservation NGOs)
8. Richard Vigne – Olpajeta Conservancy (Private Conservancies)