Kenya needs over Sh200 million to conserve the remaining 35,000 elephants, a herd that has shrunk by 95,000 since 1973, mostly from poaching.
The money will be used to develop an intelligence-led special operations unit within the Kenya Wildlife Service, create an in-house prosecution unit to facilitate quick convictions and associated penalties of wildlife crimes and construction of 120km electric fence in Tsavo.
About Sh62.6 million has been pledged for the intelligence-led unit, Sh7.8 million for the prosecution unit, and Sh78 million for the electric fence in Tsavo.
Speaking at the Giants Club Summit on Friday, Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Judy Wakhungu said the fence would be constructed in Tsavo and Laikipia in the first phase, and then rolled out countrywide in areas prone to human-wildlife conflict.
A further Sh70 million has been committed for upgrading the KWS mobile game capture to enhance response time and management of human-wildlife conflict incidents.
US President Barack Obama’s statement of support to the summit was read by the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom.
President Obama said the US would support Kenya and other countries in achieving their goals of protecting elephants.
China’s ambassador to Kenya said his country would also support all conservation efforts to “the best of their ability.”