Uhuru lauds US support in wildlife conservation


President Uhuru Kenyatta meets US Secretary for Interior Ms. Sally Jewell
[Photo/PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday lauded the US government for supporting Kenya’s wildlife conservation saying he welcomes the partnership between Kenya and the US in the fight against poachers and wildlife traffickers.

Speaking during a meeting with the US Secretary for Interior Ms Sally Jewell who paid him a courtesy call at State House, President Kenyatta welcomed efforts by the US to bring on board Asian countries, especially China, to fight the illegal wildlife trade, saying cooperation in wildlife conservation programmes will deepen the existing Kenya-US relations.

“Your presence here is a show of commitment to working together as partners,” Uhuru told the visiting US secretary, adding that Kenya is focused on partnering with other countries in an effort to conserve 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,” said the president.

On her part, the US Secretary for Interior assured that the Obama administration would 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, the US gave a commitment of USD800,000 (over Sh80 million) to protect wildlife in East Africa including a three-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.

To deepen cooperation in conservation, Kenya and the US on Tuesday 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.

By PSCU

 

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