Parks Canada

Parks Canada

November 18, 2006 10:00 ET

Parks Canada Works on Conservation With Kenya's Wildlife Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Nov. 18, 2006) - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, and the Honourable Morris Dzoro, Kenya's Minister of Tourism and Wildlife, today confirmed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service to collaborate on training in support of Kenya's conservation efforts.

"We recognize the important role that national parks play in protecting our heritage from the impacts of climate change," said Minister Ambrose, who is attending the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) on Climate Change in Nairobi, Kenya. "There are valuable experiences and best practices to be shared, and I look forward to this exciting opportunity for co-operation between Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service."

The objective of this Memorandum of Understanding is to share the experience of Parks Canada and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) related to management of national parks, and support the capacity of the KWS in the specific areas of greater park ecosystem planning and management, monitoring and assessment of ecosystem condition, stakeholder involvement and conflict management, providing memorable visitor experiences, policy development and implementation, and accountability structures.

While in Kenya, the Minister visited Amboseli National Park and Tsavo National Park where she experienced Africa in its true colours. She toured the park to understand the challenges and issues facing conservation, talked to Kenya Wildlife staff, and visited Maasai community-based conservation projects neighbouring the park and students from Amboseli primary school. The Minister also planted trees as part of a rehabilitation initiative to reforest Amboseli National Park as a contribution to combating the adverse effects of climate change.

"Kenya strongly appreciates Canada's initiative to support the Kenya Wildlife Service as its contribution to meeting the goals of the Convention on Biological Diversity's Programme of Work on Protected Areas. We look forward to greater cooperation and support to help us improve the management of our national parks for the people of Kenya and for posterity," said the Honourable Morris Dzoro, Minister of Tourism and Wildlife.

Under the MOU, Parks Canada will host up to five Kenya Wildlife Service staff for a period of two weeks to work with and learn from Parks Canada employees. Parks Canada will send up to two people to Kenya to visit with the Kenyan staff in the field, to consolidate their learning and respond to issues on the ground. The outcome of these exchange visits will define strategies for future collaboration.

"KWS manages 64 national parks and marine parks covering 8% of Kenya's land mass," said Mr. Julius Kipng'etich, Director, Kenya Wildlife Service. "We are significant players in the national economy through tourism, water catchment areas (and by extension power supply), fish breeding sites and general health of the people by protecting open spaces."

"There is a wealth of knowledge and information to be shared between our two countries," said Alan Latourelle, Chief Executive Officer of the Parks Canada Agency. "Both countries are committed to the protection of ecosystems and natural habitats, the maintenance and recovery of viable wild populations of species in natural settings, as well as the environmentally sound management of surrounding or adjacent areas."

The mission of the Kenya Wildlife Service is for the sustainable conservation and management of Kenya's wildlife and its habitat in collaboration with stakeholders for posterity. It is charged with the protection and conservation of the country's biodiversity as presented by its fauna and flora, and as part of this role it is responsible for administering Kenya's national parks.

Parks Canada's mandate is to present nationally significant examples of Canada's natural and cultural heritage to Canadians, today and in the future through a system of national parks, national marine conservation areas and national historic sites that is recognized as one of the finest and most extensive systems of protected areas in the world. These commitments will help to fulfill Parks Canada's interest in managing protected areas and in protecting biodiversity.

(Also available on the Internet at www.pc.gc.ca under Media Room.)

Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Joanne Huppe
    Communications Advisor
    Corporate Communications
    613-799-6269