Kenyans now have an opportunity to play a key role in the conservation of Elephants following the launch of the Magical Kenya Elephant Naming Festival.
During the event, individuals will have a chance to adopt an elephant after contributing funds towards their conservation.
The foster parent (adopter) will then be given priority in choosing the first name of the elephant.
The second name will be a Maasai name based on the animal’s profile, history, role in the family and physical attributes like state of tusks.
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The festival, which will be held annually in Kenya during World Elephant Day, aims to raise awareness of the plight of elephants and rally support towards their conservation.
The initiative will also play a pivotal role in ensuring that the conservation of Elephants is not affected by shocks and crisis like the Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during the official announcement of the festival at the Amboseli National Park, Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife Najib Balala appealed to communities and the general public to take a keen interest in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife, noting that the annual event will go a long way in supporting Tourism and Wildlife conservation efforts in the country.
“We feel that this is a great opportunity for everyone to be part of the sustainability of Tourism and Wildlife in Kenya for posterity. Wildlife is a big part of Kenya’s heritage and ensuring that future generations enjoy this resource should always remain paramount. The launch of Magical Kenya Elephant Naming Festival builds on the good work that KWS and other partners have been doing over the years,” said Balala.
He stated that conservation was a key priority area under the National Wildlife Strategy 2030.
The strategy gives a roadmap for transforming wildlife conservation in Kenya. It lays out opportunities and innovative approaches to address emerging challenges facing wildlife in Kenya while ensuring benefits accrue to the millions of Kenyans who support wildlife living on their land.
“This initiative brings us closer to achieving the priority goals set out in our Wildlife Strategy. Implementation of the framework will enhance communication, coordination, and collaboration and inspire engagement and participation, as well as catalyze conservation actions by all stakeholders”, he stated.
In addition to raising funds for the conservation of elephants by encouraging more people to take part, the festival will also offer them an opportunity to learn more about Elephants.
Currently, Kenya boasts of over 34,000 Elephants, the number has been gradually increasing at an annual rate of 2.8 per cent over the last three decades.
Remarkably, there has been a 96 per cent decline in poaching with 386 elephants being lost in 2013 compared to 11 elephants poached in 2020.
“We shall be fronting a special bill to protect all endangered species and protected areas and also promote private-public partnerships in conservation as we also endeavour to deal with other issues such as human-wildlife conflict. The reforms will ensure the resilience of the industry, strengthen collaborations between the national government and counties as we seek to protect our natural resources” CS Balala concluded.
By Beth Nyaga