San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance welcomed delegates from Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Wildlife Training Research Institute, to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park, as the international nonprofit conservation organization seeks to strengthen its ongoing collaboration with Kenya’s leading wildlife conservation organisation.
The delegation that was headed by the Principal Secretary Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Prof. Fred Segor also included the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Director General Brigadier (Rtd.) John Waweru and Dr. Patrick Omondi, Director, the Wildlife Research and Training Institute.
The culmination of the visit was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and Kenya Wildlife Service, the governmental agency tasked with conserving and managing Kenya wildlife. The MOU establishes cooperation parameters for both parties, in the realm of conservation science, wildlife health, care and welfare, and a host of other endeavors. Both San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance and Kenya Wildlife Service pledged to collaborate on conservation initiatives, including human-wildlife coexistence, sustainable wildlife population management, and community engagement. The MOU further established mechanisms for extending education and outreach initiatives and exchange of technical expertise.
“We are thrilled to welcome our distinguished guests, and have this time together to acknowledge our missions to protecting wildlife,” said Paul A. Baribault, President and Chief Executive Officer of San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. “At the core of our commitment is the imperative that we must be a strong partner with conservation organizations such as Kenya Wildlife Service. This MOU helps us move forward in the work we must do to ensure a world where wildlife thrives.”
Kenya Wildlife Service has been a vital steward for wildlife conservation in the region. The agency oversees the management of national parks, wildlife conservation areas and numerous sanctuaries under its jurisdiction, including providing security for wildlife and visitors, and enforcing the country’s environmental laws and regulations. They collaborate with a multitude of international conservation partners to protect and sustainably manage wildlife resources. KWS also builds community programs that encourage biodiversity, conservation and coexistence with communities that live on land that is essential to the thriving wildlife populations.
Prof. Fred Segor, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, appreciated the ongoing partnership between KWS and SDWZA and noted that the signing of the MOU opens up the field for great opportunities of mutual benefit between the two organizations that would result in the improvement of Nairobi Safari Walk and Animal Orphanage in enhancing visitor experience.
The Director General KWS Brig. (Rtd) John Waweru said “We are excited to be partnering with SDWZA. This aligns with the KWS Strategic Plan that identifies three pillars of Conservation, Collaboration and Enterprise. The partnership will have a huge impact on conservation as it is geared to providing practical solutions in the identified areas to conservation challenges”.
San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance has worked extensively with Kenya Wildlife Service on many projects, including rhino relocation, tracking and researching giraffe populations, elephant protection and community engagement initiatives. Through these and other important collaborative efforts, the Alliance acknowledges a shared goal with Kenya to protect wildlife species where they live.