By Peter Orengo
Kenya hosts an international conference to review her wealth on biodiversity and create a comprehensive conservation framework.
The conference slated for September 15 to 17, brings together conservation scientists, planners, graduate students, managers and policy makers to co-ordinate species inventories and map Kenyaâs biodiversity.
Conveners include the Environment and Forestry ministries, in partnership with African Conservation Centre, National Museums of Kenya, Department of Remote Sensing and the Kenya Forest Service.
Speaking at a media press conference, on Sunday, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director Julius Kipng'etich said participants would deliberate on how to improve livelihoods and sustain economic growth through better conservation policies.
He said this would be inline with Vision 2030 and the convention on biological diversity.
âThe ultimate beneficiaries of the mapping will be Kenyans. It will encourage creation of more conservancies, which will bring income to communities endowed with rare species of flora and fauna,â said Kipngeâtich.
He said although Kenya ranks among the worldâs top wildlife spots, little is known about the wealth of her animals, plants and habitats.
âThe natural capital provided by Kenyaâs biodiversity is the engine of our farming, ranching, fisheries, forestry, wildlife and tourism,â he said.
He said despite its importance, biodiversity has barely featured in Kenyaâs gross domestic production.
âWith the passage of the new Constitution, there is urgency to grant rights to citizens. We want to create county conservancies by 2030 to reach at least 50,â said Kipngâetich.
African Conservation Centre Chairman David Western said billions of shillings worth of Kenyaâs natural capital is destroyed annually.