NAIROBI, President Uhuru Kenyatta has lauded the United States government for supporting Kenya’s wildlife conservation efforts.

President Kenyatta acknowledged the closer working partnerships between the two countries in the fight against wildlife poachers and traffickers who posed a threat to Kenya’s world famous wildlife.

The president said co-operation in wildlife conservation programmes presented a new area for enhancing the existing cordial relations between Kenya and the US.

Speaking during a meeting with visiting US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell who paid him a courtesy call at State House Nairobi, the president welcomed efforts by the US to bring on board Asian countries, especially China, to fight the illegal wildlife trade.

“Your presence here is a show of commitment to working together as partners,” the President told Jewell. He added that Kenya was focused on partnering other countries in conserving wildlife and other endangered species.

“We are ready to work with everybody because this is not just for us but for future generations globally. We cannot afford to allow our wildlife to be wiped out,” said the President.

Jewell assured that the Obama Administration would continue to partner the Kenyan Government and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to ensure local communities were involved in wildlife conservation.

“Here in Kenya you have some models that are working very well with NGOs and county governments. The solution is not only in fencing but rather working with local communities in wildlife conservation,” she said.

During President Obama’s visit to the country last year, the US undertook to provide financial support to wildlife conservation efforts in northern Kenya.

In order to deepen co-operation in conservation, Kenya and the US on Monday signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Natural Resource Management Co-operation to build the country’s technical capacity to combat wildlife trafficking, expand biodiversity conservation and adaptation of climate change.

The MOU, signed by Environment and Natural Resources Cabinet Secretary (Minister) Professor Judy Wakhungu and Jewell, will see the US Government supporting Kenya in technology, capacity building and in forensic analysis, fostering improved technology, training of wildlife rangers and information-sharing.

Source: KBC