UK High Commissioner, Nic Hailey, has congratulated Kenyan conservationist Jim Nyamu on completing his 3,900km walk from Kenya to Botswana to raise awareness of elephant conservation.
On Saturday morning, the Elephant Neighbors Center Executive Director was received by John Hamiliton, who was representing Mr Hailey, and Dr Ben Okita, co-chair of African Elephants, as he arrived at Nyayo Stadium where he was greeted by tour operators, conservationists, friends and journalists.
Mr Hailey sent his congratulations to Mr Nyamu through his Twitter account, saying: “Many congratulations to Jim Nyamu on your great journey raising awareness on protecting precious wildlife.”
During a press conference at the stadium, Mr Nyamu urged African nations to boost resources for wildlife conservation.
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Addressing the journalists, he said that most wildlife agencies in the continent are underfunded due wildlife conservation not being seen as a priority.
Africa has to take up the responsibility to conserve their wildlife heritage including key cornerstone species such as elephant and rhinos.
He added that his 120-day walk managed to bring all the eastern and southern African elephant rangelands states together to discuss the welfare of the elephant.
“During my walk I held talks with policymakers and lawmakers in Africa on the need to upscale efforts to save the African elephant from extinction,” he said.
Mr Nyamu explained how the African elephant population has declined from 3.5 million in the 1970s to approximately 415,000 today. While 37 African states used to host elephants, some not have none within their borders.
He highlighted human wildlife conflict caused by expanding human population as another emerging threat to the conservation efforts, saying “Increasingly, we are witnessing communities surrounding wildlife areas killing animals because they don’t see any benefits of the wildlife.”
According to Mr Nyamu, climate change is also a threat to wildlife population because it reduces the amount of food available for animals.