Environment and Natural Resources Management

Speeches Shim

Kenya’s biodiversity and unique landscapes are among the most iconic in the world.  The diverse wildlife and conservation areas are among the country's natural assets.  Natural resources and nature-based tourism are drivers of the Kenyan economy and a source of livelihood to approximately 5.2 million people.  Hence, the need to sustainably manage natural resources and related assets remains a priority. Despite its importance, the sector suffers many challenges such as climate change, increased greenhouse emissions, low private and public funding, human-wildlife conflicts, bushmeat trade and illegal poaching are all linked to new trends in weather patterns and climate shocks.  Climate threats compromise communities across the country, specifically marginalized areas such as the northern and coastal parts. COVID-19 outbreak has further deepened their vulnerability.  

The pandemic resulted in a huge decline in tourism which, in the past, has contributed an average of 10 percent to Kenya’s GDP and 1.5 million jobs both directly and indirectly. In response, USAID refocused approximately $15 million in funding towards essential services to address deficits in the operations costs of partner conservancies and community livelihood funds. In addition, USAID-supported partners successfully lobbied the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife to set up a $8 million Wildlife Fund to support conservancies. An additional $2 million was allocated to an Independent National Trust Fund to support community conservancies in the future and $10 million has been designated to recruit and train 5500 Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) rangers. USAID works with the county and the national Governments of Kenya to promote local natural resource management solutions that are championed, created, and managed by the local community and supported by the private sector.  

Issuing Country 
Date 
Monday, March 15, 2021 - 9:30am

Last updated: April 14, 2021