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Speech by CAK Interim Chairman Steve Itela on the Launch of the Conservation Alliance of Kenya

Steve Itela

Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Heads of Conservation Agencies and Government Bodies, Members of the Conservation Alliance of Kenya, Distinguished Guests and Members of the Press, Ladies and Gentlemen,

All protocols observed.

On behalf of the Conservation Alliance of Kenya, I personally, express sincere gratitude to you for taking time out of your busy schedules to show solidarity as we launch of the Conservation Alliance of Kenya. We are delighted to have CS Judi Wakhungu, US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec and Canadian High Commissioner to Kenya David Angell and other distinguished guests.

In June 29th, 2003, the Maasai warriors in the Kitengela killed lions in retaliation for the cows killed by the lions straying from the park. This conflict and many others are still ongoing and numerous efforts by stakeholders to speak with a united voice on such matters have been elusive.

However, today marks a new start moving forward as we gather here to launch the voice of conservation “Alliance” whose idea was mooted on the 27th November 2013, and ratified on the 26th – 28th January 2014 at the Enashipai Resort and SPA, Naivasha. Participants adopted that the name of the organization would be the “Kenya Conservation Alliance” but, the registrar of companies rejected the name and accepted the “Conservation Alliance of Kenya”. The interim team has met with several individuals in the Kenya Private Sector Alliance who have endorsed and opened their doors to partner with the Alliance in conservation.

Nationally, biodiversity resources constitute a substantial asset in Kenya’s economy and high potential for further smart development in line with Vision 2030 and the recently Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). These strategies need a strategic unified approach to achieve the goals mentions therein.

WHAT WE ARE?

  1. The conservation sector is the engine through the various conservation development programs that spurs economic grow Outside the protected areas, the conservation sector has buffeted the community conservancies, providing massive employment; provided leverage for funding and leadership building to supplement government efforts.
  1. The conservation sector supports the protection and management of biodiversity in partnership with government to create an enabling environment for increased accountability and transparency. These accountability and transparency is very key and starts with the conservation sector playe
  1. The conservation sector continues to provide its expertise in resolving matters such as land use, national security, promote wise development and branding Keny We represent Kenya at conventions, write conservation agenda and contribute to high-level negotiations.
  1. The conservation sector represents a huge number that potential can strengthen and institutionalize the Public-Private Partnership.

The Alliance therefore is a catalyst for knowledge exchange and a platform for articulating issues and advocating for proactive solutions to natural resources, all levels. We are one unified voice, committed to contribute to Kenya’s Vision 2030 and national strategic interests through infrastructure development, national security, community and livelihoods; and food security.

WHAT HAVE WE ACHIEVED?

We are at the formative stage, the conservation sector through the Alliance is structured into five key thematic areas of focus: – conservation and development; community and livelihoods; research and data sharing; wildlife crimes; and international conventions/agreements (advocacy and lobbying). Kindly do find time to join at least one or two thematic groups and contribute towards the national agenda.

a) The Alliance is working with the Ministry of Physical Planning, National Land Commission and the Council of Governors are planning together to develop a framework for the development of County Spatial Plans – pilot areas include Kajiado, Narok, Kwale, Laikipia and Taita Tave This process is ongoing.

b) The Alliance has engaged Kenya Railways Corporation based on documented lessons learned both within and outside to minimize impacts of SGR on species and ecosystems through protected areas – Nairobi National Park and Tsavo Ec This is ongoing.

c) The Alliance is working with stakeholders in Laikipia, Isiolo and Samburu Counties to address infrastructure development – Crocodile Jaws Dam, KETRACO, and LAPSSET. This is ongoing

d) Organizational level, we have created a brand – website and logo FUTURE

2016-2018 – organizational capacity building; office set up, membership recruitment, governance, alliance strategy – national priorities in winning space outside protected areas; and monitoring and evaluation system.

2018-2021 – formalizing expansion to forestry, water towers sectors and others

With these few remarks, I now take this opportunity to welcome you to the launch Conservation Alliance of Kenya.

Download Interim Chairman Itela’s Speech

Photo: Kamweti Mutu / CAK