The Kenya International Conference on Biodiversity, Land Use and Climate Change got off to a slow start today but showed much promise. Plenary presentations by KWS and the Tourism Board of Kenya quickly challenged attendees with the substantive problems at hand. Highlights of the day included Dr. Julius Kipn'getich and Dr. David Western. Dr. Kipn'getich eloquently described the many challenges facing Kenya and the broader East Africa region. Issues such as unconstrained population growth and a changing climate threaten the welfare of both humans and wildlife alike. Dr. Western made a simple but profound criticism: protected areas in their current form are wholly ineffectual at curbing the systemic loss of biodiversity. One key fact describes this dismal reality: species loss within protected areas (PAs) is roughly equivalent to that outside of protected areas. While the ineffectiveness of PAs may be intuited or presumed, it is another reality altogether to be presented with irrefutable facts describing the inadequacy of this foundational protective measure. An eye opening day indeed.
You can read more in the conference notes for Day 1.