The East African Wildlife Society will join the world in marking the 2017 World Wildlife Day. World Wildlife Day (WWD) is celebrated on 3rd March every year to raise awareness about world’s wild flora and fauna. This began after the United Nations proclaimed 3rd March as World Wildlife Day in 2013. The theme this year is “Listen to the young voices,” calling for greater engagement and empowerment of youth on conservation issues.
In Kenya, EAWLS will join the Kenya Wildlife Service and other stakeholders in marking this day in Nakuru’s Afraha Stadium preceded with a procession from the Park. The celebrations will be led by the PS, State Department for Natural Resources Dr. Margaret Mwakima, Governor of Nakuru Mr. Kinuthia Mbugua, and KWS Director General Mr. Kitili Mbathi. EAWLS Executive Director will be representing the Society in this event.
The venue is home to Lake Nakuru National Park and has a special place in EAWLS’s history as the society played a significant part in the formation of the Nakuru Rhino Sanctuary in 1984. The park which is located in the central rift conservation area is home to over 400 bird species, over 50 mammal species as well as one of the highest concentrations of black rhinoceros in the world.
In line with the 2017 theme, EAWLS has developed an initiative called “Green ambassadors” which aims at recruiting young people to become part of the society as ‘E-Swara’ members and engage them positively towards amplifying the voice of conservation in East Africa. This initiative is premised on the fact that youth are the agents of change, are the transition between the present and future generation, and form the larger portion of the population in the region. EAWLS has also been engaging with youth through the Kenya Wildlife Conservation Forum and events such as Mazingira and Forest Challenge.
The Society calls upon members to help spread this message to the youth so that they can join the society and actively participate in addressing conservation challenges in the region such as habitat loss due to large scale conversion of land to agriculture and infrastructural development; introduction of invasive alien species; overexploitation of natural resources and pollution and climate change.