EAWLS has wildlife programme which seeks to promote sustainable conservation and management of wildlife and their habitats for posterity in Kenya. Some of the major threats to sustainable conservation and management of wildlife resources in Kenya and in the East African region include; sectoral policies, laws, strategies and plans that dis-incentivise wildlife conservation; human settlements and infrastructural development; change of land-use and poaching which have resulted in increased human-wildlife conflict, loss of wildlife and their habitats thus putting this important national heritage under threat. EAWLS addresses these threats and drivers through as capacity building, evidence-based advocacy, partnership, research, community-based natural resources management, public engagement and information and knowledge sharing.
Programme Strategic Objectives
- To advocate for the review, harmonisation of sectoral laws and influence the effects and decisions of those laws on the conservation and management of wildlife and their habitats.
- To influence compliance in the implementation of wildlife conservation legislation for the protection and sustainable conservation and management of wildlife and their habitats.
- To advocate for and support initiatives that increase habitats (private and community conservancies), prevent loss of habitat, habitat alteration, fragmentation and land use changes detrimental to wildlife conservation.
- To advocate for and support initiatives that deter poaching and illegal trade in wildlife.
- To strengthen public engagement, promote conservation education and ensure effective communication for sustainable conservation and management of wildlife and their habitats.
3.0 Key Achievements
Some of the key contribution and achievements include;
- Promoted and enhanced awareness of Lake Ol Bolossat, the only natural lake in Kenya, through production of a documentary highlighting and profiling its importance to biodiversity conservation and livelihood support.
- Supported and facilitated the development of Lake Ol Bolossat Joint Monitoring Plan in 2017
- Trained twenty nine (29) stakeholders including road upgrade committee, quarry operators, Lake Ol Bolossat WRUA, Nyahururu Bird club, farmers and the County Government on the need for EIA for any development projects within critical ecosystems, sedimentation control and preventive mechanism; A strategy towards addressing siltation of Lake Ol Bolossat.
- Establishment of the Kenya Wildlife Conservation Forum (KWCF) in 2010.
- Supported the creation of Natural Resource Management County Networks (Kwale, Nakuru, Samburu and Laikipia) aimed at empowering stakeholders at county level to participate in County development (2012)
- EAWLS appointed to sit in the Wildlife Security Task Force established to study wildlife security and management from encroachment, illegal grazing, and over-development in protected areas (2014)
- Support by EAWLS and Nature Kenya to a court case advanced by local communities seeking court orders compelling Tana and Athia River Development Authority to develop a comprehensive land use plan for the Tana Delta (2010)
- EAWLS and other CSOs appeal to National Environment Tribunal (NET) to reverse the decision to construct a road inside the Nairobi National Park- NET granted a stay order stopping Kenya National Highway Authority from proceeding with the construction until the law was followed ( 2013)
- EAWLS conducted an independent and comprehensive audit of all tourism facilities in the Maasai Mara National Reserve (MMNR) to inform the revision of MMNR Management Plan (2016).
- Advocated the formation of the Kenya Wildlife Service
- EAWLS provided anti-poaching equipment to KWS and four community wildlife conservancies in the northern Kenya.(2014)
- Established a rhino sanctuary in Lake Nakuru Park at the time when poaching of rhino was on the rise in Kenya.
- Supported the translocation of the critically endangered Roan Antelope to Ruma National Park.
- Contributed to the formulation of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013.
2.0 Programme initiatives/activities
- EAWLS in collaboration with Mara Conservation Fund, educate Chinese Volunteers on wildlife and environmental conservation and management annually.
- Strengthening the governance of community conservancies in Kenya through provision of the wildlife surveillance and monitoring equipment to curb poaching and reduce human wildlife conflict.
- Exploiting the power of cinema in promoting wildlife conservation in Kenya through filming the inspirational stories among communities and sharing this with other communities; changing the conservation approach from “ Telling people what they should not do in far as wildlife conservation is concerned” to “ telling them what others have done and have worked in promoting wildlife conservation. “
- Collating and synthesizing existing information about Lake Ol Bolossat, the 61st IBA in Kenya, to provide a basis for building a case for gazettment and sustainable management of this lake and its catchment; a project funded by Rufford Foundation.
- Conducted a training of the quarry operators around Lake Ol Bolossat on responsible practices (sedimentation prevention and control mechanisms) for their quarrying activities to minimise siltation of the lake; Project funded by Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) through Birdlife International.
- Conducts monthly KWCF meetings to discuss pertinent issues in wildlife conservation and management. Kenya Wildlife Conservation Forum (KWCF), an independent multi-sector consortium with diverse membership including government, Conservation NGOs (both local and international), community based organisations, the private sector, local community groups and university students. KWCF aims at ensuring that Kenya’s wildlife resources are sustainably managed, with economic, social and conservation benefits accruing at local as well as national levels. It offers a platform for constructive dialogue among stakeholders on policy and legislative issues, ongoing and emerging wildlife issues among others. It provides an institutional framework for the participation of all wildlife stakeholders in discussions and activities to conserve wildlife in Kenya, thus resulting in the creation and implementation of appropriate policies, legislation and conservation practices for sustainable conservation and management of wildlife resources in Kenya.
- Advocates for responsible development within critical ecosystems (within and outside wildlife preserves) through public engagement.
- Contributed to the development of the wildlife policy 2012, the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013 and the Wildlife Conservation and Management Strategy (ongoing).
- Reviewed and submitted Wildlife Conservation and Management (Amendment) Bill 2017.
- Produced a documentary profiling and highlighting the importance of Lake Ol Bolossat to the local and national economy as well as threats facing it.
- Held a public engagement event at the Strathmore Law School to separate myths from facts on the Standard Gauge Railway project; an event that brought together conservation organisations, enthusiasts, Kenya Railway Corporation, KWS and general public among other stakeholders.
- Advocating the formation of Joint Monitoring Team to oversee the implementation of the environmental and social Management and Monitoring Plan (ESMP) for the SGR phase 2.