To commemorate World Wildlife Day, we today joined our partners in conservation the Kenya Wildilife Service, The County Government of Laikipia, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, William Holden Wildlife Foundation, the Water Resources Authority and Likii and Nanyuki WRUA for a clean-up exercise of Rivers Nanyuki and Likii.
In her speech after the clean-up, the Assistant Director, Aberdare’s National Park , Ms Elema Hapicha was keen to mention that Wildlife was not all about the big five or land animals but aquatic life was just as important for the smooth running of the ecosystem. She added that the ecological integrity of the rivers were at stake giving an example of the lack of aquatic life within the two rivers due to the polluted state that the rivers were in.
Her compatriot and KWS Assistant Director, Laikipia County, Ms. Rose Malenya emphasized on the need for building partnerships towards wildlife conservation. “No single institution is self-sufficient and as such there is the need to buy into the collaborative approach towards conservation and community awareness on environmental issues”. She stated.
Also present at the clean was Laikipia County Director of Water, Environment and Natural Resources Mr. David Kingori who emphasized on the right to live in a clean environment, urging all duty bearers to fully take responsibility in ensuring that this is achieved. He at the same time appreciated the organizers of the clean-up, all the stakeholders that took part in the event and called for a harmonious working relationship and improved stakeholder involvement even in Government related initiatives.
Laikipia Wildlife Forum representative and Water Specialist Ms. Susan Gathoni brought out the relevance and importance of rivers and the need to protect them. She stated that rivers are important ecosystems that support a wide variety of plant and animal life. Unfortunately, many rivers around the world have become polluted with litter and other forms of waste, which can harm wildlife and their habitats. She added that in recognition of this year’s World Wildlife Day theme ‘partnerships for wildlife conservation’, the clean-up initiative clearly showed commitment from the different stakeholders present to protecting the environment and the wildlife that depends on it.
By organizing clean-up activities, KWS is not only helping to protect wildlife, but also raising awareness about the importance of keeping our rivers clean. Clean-up activities can also have a positive impact on local communities by improving the appearance of the area and creating a sense of pride and ownership in the environment. It can also provide an opportunity for people to come together and work towards a common goal, which can help to build stronger, more connected communities.
3rd March is recognized globally as both CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Day and World Wildlife Day. CITES Day commemorates the signing of the CITES treaty in 1973, which is a global agreement between countries to regulate the international trade of wildlife species to ensure their survival in the wild. CITES aims to protect species from over-exploitation due to international trade and to prevent illegal trade in wildlife.
World Wildlife Day, on the other hand, was established by the United Nations in 2013 to raise awareness about the importance of protecting the world’s wildlife and their habitats. The day aims to promote conservation efforts and highlight the critical role that wildlife plays in maintaining healthy ecosystems. Both CITES Day and World Wildlife Day are important occasions to reflect on the importance of protecting wildlife and the environment, and to raise awareness about the threats facing many species around the world. The day provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations, and governments to come together and act to protect wildlife and promote sustainable development.
Overall, KWS’s efforts to mark Wildlife Day with clean-up activities along rivers is a great example of how we can all do our part to protect the environment and the wildlife that depends on it.