Nature news

Kenyan-womenPaul Udoto brings us the latest from KWS

Culture – beadwork benefits
A pilot beadwork project to empower women living around Amboseli National Park has been started to showcase excellent conservation partnerships between host communities, government, scientists, NGOs and international partners. The Imbirikani women’s group is being assisted to diversify from the traditional agriculture and pastoralism to sustainable management of natural resources. More than 500 women in Osiram, Siano and Makutano are benefitting from the project. Women meet daily and work on beaded jewellery. Scientists and conservationists believe that the project will help to save wildlife species from extinction. The women will benefit from a local and international market for their work as well as education in protection of wildlife.

World news – Tencent for the Planet
Kenya Wildlife Service recently hosted executives from Chinese Internet company Tencent on a wildlife awareness trip. The giant Chinese firm has partnered with Kenyan conservation lobbies to fight wildlife crimes using digital platforms. Tencent and the conservation lobby, the Nature Conservancy, signed an agreement to revitalise the campaign against wildlife products globally. Dubbed ‘Tencent for the Planet’, the campaign has already been rolled out in Kenya and the larger East African region. The Tencent executives visited Nairobi National Park’s ivory burning site and Kenyan northern rangelands to witness ongoing wildlife conservation projects. They engaged communities to explore cooperative ways to promote conservation of key species in their natural habitat.

Reducing ivory demand
“The Behaviour Change campaign has reduced the demand for ivory in China through improving consumers’ knowledge that elephants are killed for their ivory, thereby changing consumer attitudes and altering buying practice, leading to a significant reduction in the desire to buy ivory. Banning ivory trade in China combined with vigorous enforcement and meaningful penalties for violators will stigmatise ivory consumption, supporting demand reduction efforts.”
Ms Grace Ge Gabriel, Asia Regional Director of International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

Amboseli National Park
What’s in a name? ‘Amboseli’ comes from a Maasai word meaning ‘salty dust’. Why visit? To view large herds of elephant up close. What’s it like? Habitats here range from the dried-up bed of Lake Amboseli to wetlands with sulphur springs, as well as savannah and woodlands.  While you’re there? Visit the local Maasai community who live around the park and experience their authentic culture.