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Canada partners with Kenya in climate change adaption in National Parks
Date Published: 15 Feb, 2013
The Canadian Government through Parks Canada has partnered with Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to support the country’s efforts in coping with adverse effects of climate change in National Parks.
KWS received a grant of sh.78 million from the Canadian Government towards supporting the project which will highlight the importance of National Parks in climate change adaptation and enhanced ecosystem services around conservation areas in Kenya.
The project is being implemented in the country’s premium parks of Amboseli and Nakuru as well as Mt. Kenya National Park, Aberdare National Park and both the Tsavo East and West National Parks.
It aims at enhancing the ecological integrity and resilience of protected areas and wildlife populations to climate change and reduction of human wildlife conflicts among local communities living around Kenya’s parks and reserves.
It also aims at increasing water security for wildlife and adjacent communities.
Already, KWS has been involved in numerous initiatives related to this project such as training of staff on climate change adaption and mitigation strategies, development of the protected areas invasive species strategy and action plans and general ecosystem management initiatives such as habitat rehabilitation in various parks.
The project comes at a critical time when climate change is a reality in Kenya as depicted by variation in weather patterns, unpredictable levels of water in lakes and rivers, frequent and prolonged occurrence of droughts and floods, and other environmental disasters.
These occurrences have adverse impacts on the Kenyan economy and livelihoods of the population which largely depends on natural resources such as water, land, plants and animals. Wildlife and tourism sectors, which support a large proportion of the Gross Domestic Product, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. The successful implementation of this project will go a long way towards addressing some of these challenges.
KWS and Parks Canada have had a long continued and fruitful partnership .The two signed a Memorandum of Understanding in November 2006. The objectives of the MOU are to share the experience of Parks Canada and KWS related to management of national parks, and support the capacity of KWS in the specific areas of greater park ecosystem planning and management; monitoring and assessment of ecosystem condition; stakeholder involvement and conflict management; providing memorable visitor experiences; policy development and implementation; and governance and accountability structures.