Over the last two years we have been very happy to host Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute students for their field attachments and so support both our partner KWS and the new generation of conservationists in Kenya. As part of our National Scholarship Programme they have always impressed us, and even been recruited for our internship.
Yesterday we were very excited to host the class of Wildlife Management students having travelled all the way from Naivasha on a field trip to the South coast and Shimoni.
I had spent time this week working with Fadhili, chairman of Mkwiro Youth Conservation Group, to prepare a lecture for the students on the community’s use of natural resources, perceptions of the Kisite Mpunguti MPA and relationship with KWS, as well the challenges they face in their dependence on the marine environment’s resources. Despite the late-running schedule, Fadhili did a fantastic job in enlightening the students on the issues and roles associated with local communities when it comes to natural resource and wildlife management.
I then took my turn to talk about the role of our research programmes in supporting governmental agencies, NGOs and community-based organisations in managing natural resources and conservation, illustrating how scientific data can be applied to target awareness and management strategies. It is always a pleasure to have the opportunity to raise awareness and reach new audiences with the issues and achievements associated with our work here, and the interest from the students in the National Scholarship Programme and field attachments was very encouraging. KWS TI have already allocated 3 students to join us in October, but I hope that we will have the chance to support some of the other students in the future, building capacity for research and conservation management within Kenya.