TOTAL SPECIES COUNTED: 32
“Just as the drought began to bite in Nairobi, the days became humid as well as hot, clouds gathered, birds began to sing at 4 am instead of 6, and since Tuesday Nairobi has had a downpour nearly every day or night. . . Highlights from a visit to Nairobi National Park on 4 March included; an ostrich family, with five young about 2/3’s grown, two smaller ones, and one very small “runt of the litter”; a Kori Bustard, an immature Martial Eagle, two Eurasian Rollers and several Pied and Isabelline Wheateaters.
On 5 March at the hillside with seasonal wetlands at the edge of Nairobi National Park, Whinchat, Northern and Isabelline Wheateaters and Yellow Wagtails in spring plumage.
Wishing you good birding . . .
Members present: 22
ANNOUNCEMENT: The Eastern African Environmental Network (EAEN) will be hosting its 16th Annual Conference, “Safeguarding nature’s harmony in a land of shifting priorities”, on 26-27 May, 2006, at AMREF International Training Centre, opposite Wilson Airport, Nairobi. The EAEN is a non-profit making NGO founded in 1990, with its secretariat in Nairobi. It has since promoted environmental networks in 11 countries: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. EAEN acts as a regional clearing house and an umbrella organization for partners and environmental interest groups in the region by facilitating exchange of environmental information on processes, events and people. The 16th Annual Conference is meant to provide an opportunity for reviewing the various aspects of biodiversity in Eastern Africa. All players in environmental protection, conservation and management in the region are encouraged to participate in the conference.
For registration, membership inquiries, or more information, please contact:
Eastern Africa Environmental Network
PO Box 555-00517, Uhuru Gardens
Telephone: 254-2- 601064
Inge Burchard reported that a new lion has arrived to the Park. He is a large adult, with a heavy dark mane. The number of lions residing in the Park stands at around 15. Benson Mutunkei reports that Ksh 40,000 remains in the UAP account. The Ksh 2 million raised from African Heritage Day II is much needed. Between 2001 and 2006, 228 livestock were lost. Although the lions were blamed for the loss of livestock, in fact, the livestock were killed by leopards. Since the creation of the lion protection programmed, the attitude towards livestock predation has changed. The community is much more positive towards the predators, and are much less hostile towards them. The community remains anxious for the disbursement of the World Bank funding. The conservation easement of the sheep and goat parcel still remains to be executed.
Mr. Ololtissati Ole Kamuaro, Board Member of the KWS Board of Trustees, Member of the Conservation Committee, was the guest speaker. The Kenyan government must prove itself in protection of the Nation’s unique biodiversity, and that it is serious. Wildlife must be protected at the seat of authority. He stated that his remarks were personal and not from the KWS Board. Mr. Ole Kamuaro identified totally with FoNNaP’s work and goals, and will immediately join as a member. He wishes to share ideas of how to strengthen FoNNaP and to engage policy makers. There needs to be a shift in attitudes towards community interaction. There remain key issues of water scarcity and ecological instability, and the Board must be influenced from positive Park management. FoNNaP issues must be shared with management, forwarded to the Board, and then brought to the attention of the relevant government authorities. Government needs to know FoNNaP better, as more than just another NGO, to secure the long-term interest of the Park. FoNNaP is encouraged to pay a courtesy call to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. FoNNaP is encouraged to work harder for greater political engagement. Information and dialogue is critical. The consisitency of FoNNaP’s track record is impressive despite odds and gloom. FoNNaP has stayed on course despite fierce opposition.
Mr. Ole Kamuaro is also Chairman of the Tourism Trust Fund, a government of Kenya and European Union initiative. There is a need to invest in wildlife tourism within community areas, and FoNNaP participation would be welcome. Such investment can provide support for larger ecological protection of Nairobi National Park.
The Board of Trustees appreciates the work of FoNNaP. Board Member Helen Gichohi has done many studies of NNP. There are many stakeholders to its future,and requires a multiple approach. The future of the Park looks more grimevery day, with housing developments and industry encroaching within Park boundaries. Mr. Kamuaro wishes to be kept informed of FoNNaP developments, and commits his support. There needs to be connectivity within the ecosystem, and a map to corridor strategy. FoNNaP should not give up the struggle. This is a challenge to KWS, the government and to Kenyans. Everyone wants to kill the Park, but no one wants to join the process to save the Park. Mr. Kamuaro joins FoNNaP with pride and optimism.
The Tourism Trust Fund supports community based tourism to maintain connectivity in wildlife ecosystems. There needs to be a tourism map created for the Athi River/ Kapiti Plains ecosystem. Information needs to be developed regarding settlement and fencing. Remember: the Berlin Wall was torn down in a day. So too can the Kitengela corridors be established.
LAUNCH OF THE KWS STRATEGIC PLAN 2005-2010
On 7 April 2006, at the Panari Hotel on Mombasa Highway, KWS invited FoNNaP Board Members Joan Sikand and Inge Burchard for the launch of their much awaited and ambitious Strategic Plan. KWS VISION STATEMENT : “To be a world leader in wildlife conservation. MISSION STATEMENT : “To sustainably conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife and their habitats in collaboration with other stakeholders for posterity.” KWS commits itself to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife scientifically, responsively professionally, with integrity, recognizing and encouraging staff creativity,continuous learning and teamwork in partnership with communities and other stakeholders. Increasing dynamism in the operating evironment continues to generate strategic and competitive challenges for wildlife conservation and management. KWS has realized the need to redefine its management strategies so as to appropriately cope with the emerging situations. The purpose of the strategic plan is to overcome the ad hoc approach to management, decision-making and resource utilization.
The KWS Board of Trustees Chairman, Daniel Ndonye, states that 2005/6 financial support by the government increased by 15%, and support was also received by development partners, NGO’s and the private sector. Financial constraints remain, and next year’s challenge is to raise funds to bridge the revenue gap. KWS continues to work with communities especially those living adjacent to protected areas. Competition for land, psture and water has increased, causing a corresponding rise in human/wildlife conflict. Resources are limited, but with sound scientific management backed by credible and authoritative research KWS is confident that what is done today will benefit both Kenya and the world for generations.
THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT TRIBUNAL RULING RE JAMII BORA HOUSING TRUST
On 12 April, the NET ruled in favour of Jamii Bora in their appeal against the decision by the National Environment Management Authority to refuse an Environmental Impact Assessment license to proceed with their housing project of 2,000 units in the heart of the Kitengela migratory corridor. Whereas there is significant confusion and concern by this very sad ruling, FoNNaP is actively engaged in countering this decision, and is preparing an Appeal to the High Court through their lawyer, Lucas Naiykuni, along with other interested parties, including KILA and KWS. Contributions towards this effort are urgently requested.