Kenya, India to bolster ties in wildlife conservation

Kenya and India have vowed to strengthen their ties in wildlife conservation and management.

Updated: Mar 21, 2013, 13:34 PM IST

Nairobi: Kenya and India have vowed to strengthen their ties in wildlife conservation and management amid a surge in poaching which has reduced the number of elephants, lions and rhinos in the East African nation.

"The two countries share the same variety of wildlife species hence the need to work collaboratively together to address similar challenges they face such as wildlife crime, climate change, rising populations as well as the spread of invasive species," Indian High Commissioner to Kenya Sibabrata Tripathi said during a consultative meeting with the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director, William Kiprono in Nairobi.

The move Wednesday came amid rising cases of poaching that has seen a number of rhinos and lions decline sharply in the recent past in the East African nation.

Dozens of rhinoceros have been poached in the last four years, and current poaching of elephants is documented to be the highest since the 1980s. The illegal poaching of wildlife for commercial purposes is also decimating many more species.

KWS has listed elephants, lions, wild dogs, leopards, cheetah, hyenas, Sitatunga, Tana crested mangabey, and Tana red Columbus monkeys as some of the most endangered wildlife species in Kenya.

The envoy said the Indian government will be seeking to exchange ideas on how best to encourage further collaboration between Kenya and India in terms of wildlife conservation and management.

The two countries also agreed to mull ways of venturing into sports tourism to bring more Indian tourists in Kenya, according to the two officials.

Tripathi said India will initiate talks with Kenya`s cricket administrators to look into ways of linking the sport which is immensely popular between the two countries with tourism in order to increase Indian visitor numbers in the country.

The rise of the Indian economy in the last few years has led to a subsequent rise in its citizens touring various countries across the globe.

Kenya is fast becoming a favourable tourist destination for Indians with an annual visitation of around 20,000 Indian tourists.