Here’s the opening statement from the Government of Kenya Mid-Term report on the wildlife sub-sector report released earlier this month:
“The Government in recognition that wildlife is an important driver of socio-economic development and provides irreplaceable cultural and social value to the people of Kenya, has established the State Department for Wildlife for effective coordination and sector development. Wildlife resources contribute directly and indirectly to the local and national economy through revenue generation and wealth creation. The iconic wildlife and diverse conservation areas are extremely important economic assets for Kenya. Wildlife is a source of national pride, the foundation of the Tourism Industry that contributes about 10% of the national Gross Development Products (GDP) and 11% of total formal workforce. In addition to direct economic benefits, Kenya’s wildlife areas are also vital for recreation, water catchment, carbon sequestration, fresh air, crop pollination, and control of soil erosion, among others.”
This is a glowing recognition of the importance of our wildlife and wildlife areas. Yet, wildlife conservation has been consistently underfunded in Kenya relative to the value Kenya derives from wildlife conservation.
“The Wildlife sub sector was allocated Ksh. 6,443 M, Ksh. 7,265M and Ksh. 7,393M out of which Ksh. 6,436M, Ksh. 7,010M and 7,374M represent actual expenditure for the period under review.” 2016/17, 2017/18, and 2019/20
The mid-term budget for the next three years requires more than a doubling of GOK funding to this sector, yet how will Kenya fund these commitments when already struggling under such debt?
“The sub sector requires Ksh. 20,033M, Ksh. 20,305M and Ksh. 19,943M for the FYs 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 respectively up from Ksh. 9,156M in the FY 2019/20.”
“In conclusion, the sub sector will efficiently utilize the allocated budgetary resources to address the challenges and emerging issues that have negatively affected its performance. Prominence will be put to mobilize resources from development partners and private sector to complement the budgetary allocations.”
There is no indication yet from the GOK that these central government budgetary investments will be honored. It’s incumbent on us to ensure that these funding commitments are realized. Please read the full Mid-Term report on the wildlife sub-sector here.
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