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Kenya Wildlife

Kenya Wildlife Services ‘decision’ angers conservation coalition

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Wolfgang H. Thome  Jun 02, 2008

KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) - News have emerged from Kenya that Kenya Wildlife Services has “accepted” the highly controversial decision by the previous government, to excise the Amboseli National Park from the KWS framework and hand it over to the county council.

At the time, a substantive coalition was formed between the Kenya Tourism Federation, Nature Kenya, the East Africa Environment Network and other concerned parties, to oppose the government move in court over, what it still largely considered a faulty and misdirected decision.

This court case is still pending and the news has caused some consternation, if not outright confusion among informed observers in the region.

The EastAfrican newspaper claims to be in possession of documents providing evidence that the park has already been given to the council, while KWS staff claim otherwise, one of them pointing to the ongoing court case.

Conservationists and tourism operators are inclined to have the park kept by KWS, as they are considering the council incapable of managing one of the most important and most fragile ecosystems in Kenya.

This is probably also in view of the constant issues they have with the Narok County Council, which manages the Masai Mara Game Reserve, a situation constantly under scrutiny and the public spotlight for one thing or another.

Roads into and inside that reserve are often in horrendous condition and long term infrastructural investments are clearly lacking, while in contrast KWS at least has reached a level of acceptable competence in spite of its own chequered history, since it emerged from the former Wildlife Conservation and Management Department under the then Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife.

Kenya Wildlife Services ‘decision’ angers conservation coalition
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