Kenya Wildlife Service Director General Brigadier (Rtd) John Waweru is calling on wildlife enthusiasts, especially the youth, to sensitize communities on the importance of conserving wildlife by stepping up conservation education among all segments of the society.
“There is a disconnect in matters conservation because of lack of education, 65% of wildlife sits on community land and only about 35% in protected parks and reserves. We should therefore educate communities and the youth to take security of wildlife seriously“, said Brigadier (Rtd) John Waweru, adding “Wildlife can coexist with humans with the aid of conservation education to the entire public, I am glad that you have this conversation education forum and I wish more organizations would join you in driving this agenda forward.”
The Director General was speaking at Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters in Nairobi during a conservation education stakeholders’ forum aimed at strengthening wildlife conservation and management.
The forum, attended by 15 stakeholder organizations, deliberated on marshalling combined efforts to create awareness on conservation education across the country. The forum was started in 2017.
Driven by article 69 of the 2010 constitution, which identifies wildlife as a natural asset to be managed for the benefit of the present and future generations, the forum member organizations strive towards providing support to KWS by forming a strong partnership to educate the public on the significance of proper management of wildlife and biodiversity.
Community outreach, learning, public engagement and research are the main areas that the forum focuses on.
The current vice chairperson of the stakeholder’s forum, Fredrick Peter Moll from SUSO urged the youth present to embrace the noble idea of conservation education for it will help generations to come “let us encourage our brothers and sisters to champion conservation education amongst them,” said Moll.
Emerging challenges of wildlife conservation require a multipronged approach in order to have lasting solutions. Conservation of species, their habitats, and other natural ecosystems are increasingly coming under intense pressure and threat of extirpation, Therefore, conservation education is a necessary management tool to inform and impart knowledge to the general public as well as enhance indigenous and traditional knowledge that is useful for conservation.