Kenya pledges enhanced conservation of wildlife habitats amid threat

NAIROBI, Dec. 8 (Xinhua) -- The conservation of Kenya's wildlife sanctuaries that are grappling with myriad threats, including climate change, encroachment, pollution, and invasive species, is a top priority for the government and its partners, an official said on Thursday.

Peninah Malonza, cabinet secretary in the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, said enhancing the protection of natural habitats for iconic wildlife species is key to sustainable tourism and the livelihoods of rural communities.

"We are harmonizing policy frameworks even as we engage more partners to boost wildlife conservation financing," Malonza remarked during the launch of a new initiative to promote the health of biodiversity inside wildlife parks in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

According to Malonza, a strategic alliance between government, industry, and bilateral lenders is expected to re-invigorate the protection of wildlife sanctuaries that are home to iconic species like giant mammals, insects, and migratory birds.

She said Kenya has domesticated international treaties to strengthen the conservation of wildlife habitats, boost climate resilience and improve rural livelihoods.

Malonza added that to shield wildlife from the devastating impacts of climate change, the government has mobilized resources to drill water pans and supply dried fodder to the parks.

She noted that greater involvement of local communities in protecting wildlife habitats has led to reduced cases of poaching, thereby stabilizing the population of charismatic species, including elephants, rhinos, lions, and giraffes.

The Kenyan official said the new partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Conservation Alliance of Kenya will foster knowledge-sharing on tackling emerging threats to wildlife.

Malonza said the alliance will guide investments in nature-positive projects that enhance the health of wildlife habitats while providing new revenue streams to communities.

Silvia Museiya, principal secretary in the State Department of Tourism and Wildlife, said partnerships, innovative financing, and greater community involvement are key to the success of wildlife conservation programs.

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