Gaborone — Botswana and Kenya are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in environmental matters and wildlife conservation.
Kenya’s deputy high commissioner for Kenya, Mr Wilfred Masau, said his country was commitment to wildlife conservation by continually putting in place measures to counter poaching and illegal trade in wildlife, adding that the country could not do this alone hence the collaboration with Botswana.
Mr Masau said the upsurge in poaching and illegal trade posed a serious threat to wildlife as it could lead to their extinction. He said this during the anti-poaching awareness campaign titled ” No horse riding for poaching event,” which was organized by Captive eye Organisation and held at the Bonnington farm monument.
Mr Masau said wildlife was a very critical pillar of the country’s tourism Industry and one of the key sectors expected to deliver vision 2030, the country’s blue print for social economic development.
Kenya, he said had put in place various measures to adequately protect the wildlife from poaching activities, such as reducing wildlife conflict, which encompassed establishment of wildlife corridors or migratory routes in the national parks and game reserves.
He said it was vital to train and provide capacity building for the wildlife management personnel and game rangers in order to equip them with knowledge and technical skills required in the law enforcement and protection of the country’s fauna.
Mr Masau stressed on the need for citizens and other stakeholders to support community wildlife programmes aimed at sensitising and educating the citizens.
He said it was fundamental to collaborate with other governments and international organisations, to counter poaching and illegal trade.
He said the focus should be on the trafficking of all threatened species, adding that the most endangered species in Kenya were the African elephant and the black and white rhinos.
The deputy high commissioner said despite the recent upsurge in poaching due to increased demand for ivory and rhino horns, there had been commendable progress in the battle against the issue.
Introducing, the Captive Eye Organisation and their intention to hold Miss Anti-poaching Africa pageant 2015, the representative, Mr Percy Mothibi said illegal trading of wildlife was growing at an alarming rate in the country, adding that the increasing illegal wildlife had a negative impact on the economic, social and environmental pillars of development.
“Wildlife poaching is the most immediate threat to several species including elephants and rhinos amongst others,” he said.
He said their Organisation intends to contribute to the mainstreaming of wildlife conservation and protected area management, hence the roll out through Mr and Miss Anti-Poaching Africa Pageant. “The pageant shall serve as a gate pass to send the message across the border and encourage African countries to join hands to fight this terrorism orientated activity,” he said.
Other activities include kgotla meetings, movie documentary, debates and essay competition.