Public participation has become an essential part of implementing sustainable governance in wildlife conservation which has enhanced transparency, accountability as well as given much needed guidance to conservation. This is a global trend and Kenya is quickly adopting this best practice in an effort to ensure that the country’s irreplaceable wildlife heritage is preserved. It is in this respect that KWS has been conducting public hearings to get the views and opinions of the public concerning the subsidiary regulations. These regulations will guide the implementation of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 (WCMA) which came into force on January 10th 2014. These subsidiary regulations include Bio-Prospecting; Regulations on Compensation; Regulation of effective management of Wetlands; Wildlife Research; Access, Incentives and Benefit Sharing and Wildlife Security Operations.
Virginia Wahome, a Senior Community Liaison Officer with the Laikipia Wildlife Forum (LWF), has been appointed chairperson for the County Wildlife Conservation and Compensation Committee (CWCC) - Laikipia County. CWCCC is set to benefit from Virginia’s wealth of experience that includes fifteen years of active duty addressing human wildlife issues with Laikipia Wildlife Forum.
LWF has a vibrant wildlife program and enjoys tremendous goodwill from National, County as well as international governments as a direct result for the organizations exceptional work in the diverse areas of conservation. Virginia still retains her position with LWF and plans to spearhead CWCCC’s agenda, expanding its portfolio to fit in with multiple key organizational strategies such as that of LWF. “I am really looking forward to working with the various fence committees in planned capacity building exercises. Many local communities today still think that it is impossible to co-exist peacefully with wildlife, but we are here to help change this thinking so as to allow them to play an active role in conservation as well as understand various laws that have been put into place regarding wildlife and conservation” says Virginia.