Kenya is pushing for public-private partnerships in curbing human-wildlife conflicts
Kenya is losing more wildlife to human-animal conflicts than to poaching. We need the goodwill of the people, said Kenya’s Minister for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala today.
- Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala has urged wildlife and conservation stakeholders to work with the government to strengthen public-private partnerships to curb human-animal conflicts.
- “Mitigation measures are short-term. The dialogue needs to go deeper in terms of funding, mapping and rigorous but crucial decisions to protect our wildlife. Let the world community fully support efforts to protect elephants in word and in fact, ”said Balala.
- The CS made the remarks yesterday during a webinar that screened and discussed “Living on the Edge,” a documentary by Black Bean Productions that highlighted the plight of the human-elephant crisis in Africa.
The webinar, hosted by the Director of Government Relations of the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPIF), Dr. Winnie Kiiru, moderated, included dialogues from key decision makers, experts, investors and wildlife and conservation regulators including:
- Prof. Lee White, CBE: Minister for Forests, Oceans, Environment and Climate Change, Gabon
- Greta Lori: Director of Program Development, EPIF
- Grant Burden: Special Advisor on Human-Elephant Conflicts, EPIF
During the webinar, Prof. White said that climate change is affecting the elephant population, causing them to leave their habitats to look for food in human settlements.
For his part, Grant Burden stressed the need to involve local communities in the discussion of long-term solutions to human-animal conflicts.
Building on Mr. White’s point of view, Greta Lori reiterated how human, agricultural, industrial and climatic change affects wildlife and how we need to define new ways in which we can coexist peacefully with them.
CS Balala highlighted the issue of closing ivory markets in the European Union and Japan, as the availability of these markets is the greatest threat to elephant conservation.
“In 2020, 0 rhinos and 9 elephants were poached in Kenya. This is a big step in preserving our wildlife. However, we lose more animals to human-animal conflicts than to poaching. We must therefore deal with the problem now, otherwise we will lose the goodwill of the people, which would be catastrophic for the protection of the elephants, ”added Balala.
The CS said if we lose the goodwill of the people, the entire conservation agenda will be lost. It is for this reason that we must take action now to protect people and invest in long-term human-animal conflict mitigation measures that make people feel safe from wildlife.