Wednesday, 21 August 2013 11:51    PDF Print E-mail
The Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2013, as submitted to the National Assembly (July 2013)

Information Note on The Wildlife Conservation and Management Bill 2013, as submitted to the National Assembly (July 2013)

WE SUPPORT THE WILDLIFE BILL BUT WE HAVE 3 MAJOR CONCERNS
Introduction
In 2010 the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife reviewed the draft bill as it then existed and realised it had serious operational deficiencies. The Ministry then set up a technical committee to address these weaknesses and after August 2010 to harmonize the Bill with the Constitution, which was done over a series of meetings, including a peer review process. In August 2011, a draft was presented to a national stakeholders’ workshop which was attended by over 200 participants. The comments obtained from this workshop and subsequent written submissions were consolidated, validated and where ever appropriate incorporated into the bill by the Technical Team. This process led to a final draft of the Bill being completed in April 2012. The understanding was that the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife would then put this draft into the Public Domain and promote it’s passage through Cabinet and onto Parliament via the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution and the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Land. Regrettably this did not happen and instead we have a draft that was amended by the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife behind closed doors and which has had no public scrutiny despite this being a requirement of the Constitution as explained to the Ministry by the Commission on the Implementation of the Constitution on at least two occasions. This secret process has led to 3 major concerns that Members of Parliament should be aware of when considering this Bill.
Concern 1 - The Wildlife Regulatory Council
The Wildlife Regulatory Council The Ministry has inserted a new institution, known as The Wildlife Regulatory Council. A critique of the articles related to the functions of the Council can be summarized as follows:
1. The intention was that the County Wildlife Conservation Committees should undertake the facilitation of user rights and licensing, in line with the decentralisation process required by the Constitution. By having the County Wildlife Conservation Committees undertake that responsibility, the conflict of interest feared by the Kenya Wildlife Service during the drafting was largely removed. The intention to have the Regulatory Council take over those functions will create a tug of war and will not be consistent with the Constitution. Nor do you need a Council to co-ordinate the County responsibilities. This can be done by the Ministry’s Directorate of Conservation as spelt out in the Bill.
2. In essence the creation of the Regulatory Council does not end a KWS role in licensing. Since the technical and scientific functions in wildlife management remain with KWS, any advice/recommendations regarding the issuing of a license would have to come from KWS.
3. The Regulatory Council appears to take over all licencing. But the Kenya Wildlife Service is the CITES management Authority with legal responsibility for implementing CITES permits, etc. But it is now totally unclear as to who will have that responsibility.
Inclusion of the Regulatory Council conflicts with the role of the Service, the Directorate and County Wildlife Conservation Committees, it adds an unnecessary layer of bureaucracy and cost to the government and undermines the principle of devolution in management. The way in which the Regulatory Council is drafted takes resources away from KWS without actually providing true regulation or oversight. A regulatory council of this nature should be set out in a separate piece of legislation that has been given proper consideration, and could fall under EMCA as a regulatory council for all environmental resources.

IT IS PROPOSED THAT THE CREAT ION OF THIS REGULATORY COUNCIL BE REMOVED ENTIRELY FROM THIS PRO POSED LEGISLAT ION AND THE
FOLOWING FUNCTIONS OF THE COUNCIL BE ADED TO KWS.

(i) To identify, and determine categories of user rights
(ii) To grant wildlife user rights in accordance with article 69 (1) of the Constitution; permits and licenses in consultation with the County Wildlife Conservation Committee and in accordance with national standards, goals, objectives, targets and indicators set by the Directorate.
(iii) To monitor the activities of licensees in consultation with the County Wildlife Conservation Committee in order to enforce compliance with the license terms and conditions.
Concern 2 - Incentives and Benefit-sharing
The replacement of the text, which had been fully agreed by the Technical Committee, including the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, on Incentives and Benefit Sharing, by text which suffers from a non transparent and non participatory approach is a major concern because.
1. Wording on incentives and benefit sharing does not reflect what was agreed by the Technical Committee. As currently drafted, the wording is vague and there are no specific incentives rather a reiteration of principles relating to management.
2. Section 60 states that the Council shall formulate regulations and guidelines on access and benefit sharing; Section 63 states the Cabinet Secretary shall formulate guidelines relating to benefit sharing and incentives – this is another overlap between the Council and another body (the Directorate) as to function.
3. There must be public consultation on this vital issue in the interests of transparency to ensure incentives and benefit sharing uphold an enabling environment for wildlife conservation. There has been a dramatic decline in wildlife numbers in Kenya because of the lack of incentives to those who live with and bear the cost of living with wildlife.
The original text submitted to the Ministry in April 2012, may not be perfect but it is significantly better than the current text and it reflects far more closely the requirements of the Constitution and inputs provided by stakeholders.

AMEND ARTICLES 57-63 ON INCENTIVES AND BENEFIT SHARING AND SPECIFY RULES FOR INCENTIVES AND BENEFIT SHARING TO BE ISSUED WITHIN SIX MONTHS

Delete section 57 to 63 and replace with the following (taken in part from the original Technical Committee version):

1. The Cabinet Secretary upon advice from the Service, in consultation with the Commission for Revenue Allocation and other relevant government departments and following public consultation in accordance with Schedule Four of this Act, shall issue rules and regulations governing incentives and benefit sharing within six months of the passage of this Act.
2. In recognizing wildlife conservation and management as a legitimate form of land use, but recognizing that such use incurs costs, which if not addressed can lead to a decline in the management and value of wildlife, the county wildlife conservation committee shall ensure that benefits are derived in accordance with established procedures and the provisions of the law and regulations.
3. In recognizing the contribution land owners and communities can make, inter alia, to:
a. facilitating the provision of corridors and dispersal areas
b. maintaining wildlife populations in areas used for livestock grazing
c. contributing to the protection of wildlife in National Parks
d. maintaining environmental services
e. assisting in the development of the tourism sector the Service shall ensure that benefits accruing from wildlife utilization are shared in an equitable and fair manner in accordance with established procedures and the provisions of the law
4. The benefits may be realized in a number of direct and indirect ways including:
a. Fees, rents and other charges
b. Undertaking partnership arrangements with proper equity in profit distribution
c. Leasing concessions, using tender processes
d. Obtaining payments for assisting national objectives, e.g. the provision of corridors
e. Obtaining payments for environmental services
f. Waiving of permit and licence fees
g. A reduction in costs by supporting mitigation of human wildlife conflict.
h. Compensation
i. Providing capacity building for improved decision making and benefit flows.
5. In addition, the Service may adopt other benefit sharing measures as deemed appropriate
6. Notwithstanding the provisions of any relevant revenue Act, the Cabinet Secretary responsible for finance shall, on the recommendation of the Cabinet Secretary responsible for wildlife, propose fiscal incentives to induce or promote wildlife conservation and management.
Concern 3 - Information and monitoring
The text in regard to collecting and sharing information in regard to, for example, the status of wildlife countrywide; the trends in wildlife conservation and management approaches and practices; the processes or activities likely to impact on wildlife conservation; and wildlife statistics seems essential if Vision 2030 with Tourism signaled as a major economic driver is to be achieved. Similarly the text requiring The Cabinet Secretary at least once every five years, to submit to the National Assembly a monitoring report showing the extent to which the national wildlife strategy has achieved its set
objectives and to avail the monitoring report to the public also seems essential.

RE-INSERT PROVISIONS ON RESEARCH, INFORMATION AND MONITORING

KWS should be accountable to Kenyan citizens, it should keep a database on research and monitoring, drawing on data from its own and other sources, and it is a constitutional requirement to make this information available. Section 8 that relates to KWS functions is too broadly drafted and the section on Wildlife Research and Monitoring that was in previous drafts of the Bill has now been omitted and should be re-instated. KWS and the Ministry need to be given a clearer instruction on what is expected in this area.

FOR MORE INFO:
T. + 254 (20) 3874145
M. + 254 722 202473 / + 254 734 600632
E. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
www.eawildlife.org

Last Updated ( Wednesday, 04 September 2013 14:44 )
 

Comments  

 
0 #1 Michael Lund Markuss 2013-08-22 17:39
This paragraph worries me!
67. (3) The Council may, upon successful registration of the applicant with the County Wildlife Conservation Committee grant a licence in accordance with the provisions set out in the Eighth Schedule with regard to consumptive wildlife use activities, including -
(a) game farming;
(b) game ranching;
(c) live capture;
(d) research involving off-take;
(e) cropping; and
(f) culling.
Quote
 

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