News from EAWLS

East African Wild Life Society’s work in the protection of the region's biodiversity has received a handsome recognition from the estate of The Late Rosamaria Paasche in Norway. This is after the estate made a legacy donation of USD 400,000 according to the wishes of the reknowned conservationist who was born in El Savador and died in Oslo on 28th November 2016.

The donation was formally presented to the EAWLS Chairman Mr. Joe Kibe by the estate lawyer Mr. Arne Os at a cocktail ceremony held at the Residence of the Royal Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya. Present at the ceremony included H. E. the Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Victor Ronneberg, EAWLS board members, EAWLS Executive Director Julius Kamau, invited conservation enthusiast and staff of EAWLS.

Mr. Os spoke of the late Paasche as a diligent philologist whose love for nature and its preservation was unmatched. For close to 5 decades Ms. Paasche devoted her time to working with and for nature across Africa and her birth continent of South America. He noted that the donation of half her entire estate to EAWLS was the utmost indication of how she followed the society’s work and how she drew inspiration from that work.

“It is her hope that this donation will go a long way to further boost the work of the East African Wild Life Society and champion a cause she dedicated a big part of her life to.

Speaking at the ceremony H. E. the Norwegian Ambassador to Kenya Mr. Victor Ronneberg noted that global climate change and loss of biodiversity are among the most serious environmental threats to the world at present. The ambassador highlighted the work Norway has been in several parts of the developing world to combat climate change through projects addressing food security, forests, clean energy and reducing emissions among other initiatives.

“Much of Norway’s development aid to East Africa has been channelled to local partners in key areas such as environment, energy, health and education. We are therefore happy to see Norwegian citizens complement our efforts in a big way by supporting local organizations working towards our shared mission.” The Ambassador added.

EAWLS Chairman Mr. Joe Kibe thanked he estate of the late Rosamaria Paasche for the immense support through the donation. While noting that the society’s work in conservation relied on the generosity of well-wishers, the chairman appealed to more individuals and institutions to partner with the society to maintain East Africa’s rich natural heritage and threatened species.

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The Kenya Forest Working Group (KFWG) a Sub-Committee of the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS), carried out a tree planting project which saw the planting of 12,000 seedlings in the Mau Eburu Forest.

The 12,000 seedlings were an addition to 63,000 seedlings previously planted. Through this exercise, KFWG achieved its target of planting a total of 75,000 seedlings in the forest.

Currently, KFWG is sourcing for financial resources from partner organisations to undertake more rehabilitation projects in the Eburu Forest.

The Mau Eburu forest is one of the 22 gazetted forest blocks and is part of the vast 420,000 hectare Mau Forest Complex, within Kenya’s Rift Valley. The Eburu forest covers 8715.3 hectares (87sqkm) of pristine indigenous forest.

The forest is of paramount importance since it is the source of several water bodies such as the Ndabibi River and forms part of the catchment for lakes Naivasha and Elementaita. It is also home to several endangered wild animals like the East African mountain bongo antelope.

Eburu forest has been debasing due to extensive illegal activities, such as deforestation and charcoal burning.

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The East African Wildlife Society 60th Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on the 17th of December 2015 at the Society’s boardroom. During the meeting, the following were elected as board members;

  • Davinder  Sikand
  • William Pike
  • Mohanjeet Singh Bar

They join other board members who include;

  • Joe Kibe (Chairman)
  • Philip Coulson (Vice - Chairman)
  • Mike Mbaya (Treasurer)
  • Mike Watson
  • Cissy Walker
  • Nigel Hunter
  • Otekat John Emily
  • Esmond Bradley Martin

We would like to take this opportunity to welcome our new Board members.

 

 

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In October 2015, The East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) launched a 10 month exercise to boost transparency and information sharing among government, civil society and the private sector. In particular, EAWLS is keen to improve public access to information in the forest sub-sector (in Kenya) through strengthening regulations on transparency and providing an online interactive platform for collating and sharing information.

The exercise is funded by the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and forms part of the international programme on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) and it is anticipated that this exercise will lead to a more comprehensive and coherent strategy to combat illegal logging.

According to a report by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), lack of information is contributing to corruption, and it is evident that this is a challenge in Kenya as recently a corruption risk assessment was commissioned by the then Kenya’s Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and UN-REDD. There are national and international efforts to improve transparency such as the Bali Guidelines and the work on REDD+ safeguards and FLEGT, and the National Forest Policy and Law. Therefore this project will be in line with these processes with a focus on improving information sharing on key elements of the Kenyan Forestry sector to the general public while providing comprehensive recommendations on policies and procedures developed, based on international best practice, to improve public access to information in the forestry sector.

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The East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS) with the support of the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in the Republic of Kenya produced the first-ever Swara magazine in Chinese.

This publication is a major advocacy tool targeting Chinese nationals in China as well as those working and living in Africa. This version of Swara will be a platform for dialogue, exchanges and sharing of best practices and lessons among the people of East Africa and China.

It is envisaged that through it, there will be greater sharing of conservation information between East African and Chinese communities. This will lead to increased awareness and change of attitude and behaviour.

The magazine will be distributed in Kenya by the Chinese Embassy and in China by our partner, the Mara Conservation Fund (MCF). The Chinese Swara will be published bi-annually with stories that are of interest to East Africans and to Chinese nationals.

This first issue of Swara focuses on the importance of saving not only rhinos and elephants but other flagship species such as Lions, Gorillas, Grevy’s Zebra and the Giant Sable. The Kenyan Wildlife Act as well as China’s Wildlife Law have also been highlighted.

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