Kenyatta lauds US support to Kenya’s wildlife conservation

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From left US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell, President kenyatta and Principal Secretary Monica Juma

President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the US government for supporting Kenya’s wildlife conservation.

He acknowledged the closer working partnerships between the two countries in the fight against wildlife poachers and traffickers that posed a threat to Kenya’s world famous game.

The President said cooperation in wildlife conservation programmes, present a new area for enhancing the existing cordial relations between Kenya and the US.

From left US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell, President kenyatta and Principal Secretary Monica Juma
From left, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell, President Kenyatta and cabinet secretary professor Judy Wakhungu

 

Kenyatta spoke during a meeting with the US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

He welcomed efforts by the US to bring on board Asian countries, especially China, to fight the illegal wildlife trade.

“Your presence here is a show of commitment to working together as partners,” the President told the visiting US Secretary.

President said Kenya is focused on partnering with other countries in conserving wildlife and other endangered species.

“We are ready to work with everybody because this is not just for us but for future generations globally. We cannot afford to allow our wildlife to be wiped out,” posed the President.

The US Secretary for Interior assured that the Obama administration will continue to partner with the Kenya Government and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to ensure local communities are involved in wildlife conservation.

“Here in Kenya you have some models that are working very well with NGOs and county governments. The solution is not only in fencing but rather working with local communities in wildlife conservation,” she said.

During President Obama’s visit to the country last year, US undertook to provide financial support to wildlife conservation in Northern Kenya.

The US gave a commitment of $800,000 (over Ksh. 80million) to protect wildlife in East Africa including a 3-year poaching and trafficking assessment programme in Kenya to be carried out in partnership with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, a Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network.

uhuru and sally jewel
President Kenyatta shaking the hand of the US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell who paid him a courtesy call at State House, Nairobi.

To deepen cooperation in conservation, Kenya and the US yesterday signed an MOU on Natural Resource Management Cooperation to build the country’s technical capacity to combat wildlife trafficking, expand biodiversity conservation and adaptation of climate change.

The MOU was signed by Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary Professor Judy Wakhungu and the visiting US Interior Secretary.

In the MOU, the US Government will support Kenya in technology, capacity building and in forensic analysis.

The MOU fosters improved technology, training wildlife rangers and information sharing as the best tools to counter the menace.

It is expected to effectively curb illegal trafficking and trade through improved surveillance at Kenya’s ports of entry and ports of exit.

“I want to thank you and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta for raising awareness of wildlife conservation globally,” the visiting US Secretary said.

The meeting was attended by Professor Wakhungu, Principal Secretaries Monica Juma, Karanja Kibichu and US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec among others.