Empowering Communities: Olinga Advocates Praises Ministry’s New Strategy to Tackle Human-Wildlife Conflict

May 2, 2024

Empowering Communities: Olinga Advocates Praises Ministry’s New Strategy to Tackle Human-Wildlife Conflict

The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife has unveiled a groundbreaking strategy to combat human-wildlife conflict, a persistent challenge affecting communities residing in conservation areas. This initiative, coupled with the introduction of an enhanced Technology-driven Compensation Scheme, marks a pivotal moment in wildlife conservation efforts.

In collaboration with key stakeholders such as the Kenya Wildlife Service, Wildlife Research and Training Institute, and the Nature Conservancy, the Human-Wildlife Strategy (2024-2033) aims to expand protected areas and promote wildlife-friendly land use policies. By allocating resources towards prevention, response, and compensation, the Ministry endeavors to foster a more harmonious relationship between humans and wildlife.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary, Alfred Mutua, emphasized the urgency of addressing human-wildlife conflict, citing alarming declines in wildlife populations. Dr. Mutua highlighted the multifaceted challenges facing conservation efforts, including habitat loss, climate change, and population pressure.

“It is imperative that we strike a balance between human development and the preservation of our wildlife heritage,” Dr. Mutua asserted. “Our Ministry is committed to implementing strategic interventions that mitigate conflict and promote sustainable coexistence.”

The newly unveiled strategy focuses on long-term solutions, addressing the underlying causes of human-wildlife conflicts. Through policy reforms and increased community engagement, the Ministry aims to create an environment where both humans and wildlife can thrive.

During the launch of the Human-Conflict Strategic and Compensation Scheme, Dr. Mutua reiterated the government’s commitment to collaboration with communities and conservation partners. Leveraging technology and community involvement, the compensation scheme aims to streamline the claims process and ensure timely resolution.

The Ministry’s comprehensive approach also includes policy reviews and the recruitment of additional rangers to enhance response capabilities. Investments in infrastructure, education, and innovative research underscore the government’s dedication to sustainable wildlife management.

Silvia Museiya, Principal Secretary for the State Department of Wildlife, urged stakeholders to actively participate in the implementation of the strategy. She emphasized the importance of on-the-ground initiatives, challenging partners to move beyond conferences and take tangible action.

Echoing this sentiment, Munira Anyonge-Bashir, Kenya Programme Director at Nature Conservancy, emphasized the interconnectedness of wildlife conservation and community well-being. Anyonge-Bashir commended the collaborative efforts to promote human-wildlife coexistence, stressing the need for a holistic approach to conservation.

The Human Wildlife Compensation Scheme, administered by private claims administrators, aims to provide relief for affected communities in hotspot counties. Covering a range of incidents, including property damage and livestock predation, the scheme seeks to benefit all Kenyan citizens.

As Olinga Advocates applauds these initiatives, they encourage stakeholders to support the Ministry’s efforts and actively engage in conservation endeavors. Together, we can build a future where humans and wildlife thrive in harmony. Join us in supporting this critical mission.