Kenya has today been celebrating World Wildlife Day (WWD), with his year’s celebrations taking place at the Afraha Stadium in Nakuru County.
This year’s theme for the worldwide celebration is, “Listen to the young voices” which has focuses on the involvement and active participation of the youth in wildlife conservation.
As part of their own celebrations, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) brought together all the relevant government departments and stakeholders at the ceremony which was presided over by Prof. Judi Wakhungu, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources.
Speaking at the event, CS Judi Wakhungu said: “With over 25,000 species of animals, and 7000 species of plants. Kenya ranks highly as one the biodiversity rich countries in the world.
“We have every reason to appreciate and celebrate our wildlife for the many benefits we drive from them.”
A series of activities took place before and are planned for after the day’s celebrations to make the voices of the Kenyan youth heard in wildlife conservation.
As a build up to the event, an essay competition with wildlife conservation themes was launched in January 2017 involving 10 Primary, 10 Secondary and 5 Tertiary institutions in Nakuru County.
The winners in each category were awarded gift vouchers and trophies during the WWD 2017 event. Other planned activities include youth debates on Kenyan television, Talk from youth representatives on WWD event in Nakuru town, and National Parks clean-up across Kenya.
— U.S. Embassy Nairobi (@USEmbassyKenya) March 3, 2017
World Wildlife Day has also been marked with a band procession in Nakuru town, a town clean up, music and poetry performances with wildlife conservation themes from young people and speeches from eminent conservationists including KWS Director General Mr. Kitili Mbathi.
News anchor and host of NTV Wild Talk, Smriti Vidyarthi, was one of the many famous faces Tweeting their support for the day.
— Smriti Vidyarthi (@SmritiVidyarthi) March 3, 2017
Meanwhile, UK High Commissioner to Kenya, Nic Hailey, was in London meeting with representatives from the Foreign Office and Defra (UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) to discuss the High Commission’s work to help end wildlife crime.
Also during World Wildlife Day, US Ambassador Bob Godec announced a grant from his government to support Kenya’s National Wildlife Conservation Strategy.