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The Center for Advanced Studies in Environmental Law and Policy (CASELAP) officially launched a book on wildlife and environmental conservation on January, 17, 2016.
Speaking during the event, the authors of the book John Mbaria and Mordecai Ogada, urged Kenyans to rise up and conserve the environment, for not doing so would be disastrous to the country. “Most conservation stories have been written from the viewpoint of the elites, but this book looks at conservation from the view of locals.”
Unlike many people who conserve the environment because they have been urged to do so by donors or are looking for fame, praise, the two Kenyan authors urged fellow Kenyans to conserve the environment because it’s the right thing to do.
They said that the range land has been degraded in most parts of the country. These places include Samburu, Laikipia, Marsabit. The pastoral communities in these places have resorted to clashes as they fight for the pasture for their animals. “Conservation is about our own survival”, said Modecai.
Many Kenyans have made significant contributions towards conservation efforts. Today, Karura forest exists due to efforts of four families who vowed to see the forest conserved. Friends of Karura later joined the conservation of the forest.
“Conservation is not for some elites out there, but for all of us. We need a national conservation dialogue”, said the two authors. Today, Nairobi is facing water shortages, all these the authors attributed to lack of conservation efforts. He warned that, should we continue in our slumber, we may face serious challenges in the coming years.
A copy of the book during the Launch
Some 20 years back, Nairobi used to have rivers where people would swim, today, it is no more! The good old Nairobi Rivers have since lost its luster. The conservationists as well expressed their displeasure with the building of the Standard Gauge Railway inside Nairobi National Park.
One of the greatest dangers of conservation mentioned during the book launch was poaching. The authors reiterated the need for all Kenyans to join conservation efforts and not leave it to Kenya Wildlife Services.
Also present during the book launch were Prof. Henry Mutoro, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Affairs and Prof. Nick Oguge, Director, CASELAP.