By Kings Waweru
British government has pledged to offer specialized anti-poaching training to Kenya Wildlife Service rangers and other conservation agents in Mt Kenya region.
British Army paratroopers, who are part of British Army soldiers have for the last few days been providing patrol and field training to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Forest Service (KFS) and the Mount Kenya Trust (MKT).
The country's Secretary of State for Environment, Owen Paterson is expected at the training site in Mt Kenya National Park tomorrow, where he will preside over closing of the training session.
"The ceremony will also consist of a drill on final exercise testing, where the learners will exhibit anti ambush skills they have been taught during the training," read a statement sent to newsrooms by John Bradshaw, the Head of Communications at the British High Commission, who is in charge of Kenya and Somalia.
Paterson is also expected to discuss the importance of a strong legal framework to punish and deter perpetrators of poaching.
He highlighted the need for partnership in conserving the world's iconic species, through strengthening of security agents by offering them specialized training on how to counter poachers.
The Secretary noted that by joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, Britain's armed services will be able to provide training and support to the warders and other players who endanger their lives every day to protect wild animals.
The training and Paterson's visit comes barely two months before the London conference on illegal wildlife trade, which is scheduled for February next year.
The conference will focus on illegal wildlife crime and aims to tackle three inter-related aspects of illegal wildlife trade, namely, improving law enforcement and the role of the criminal justice system, reducing demand for wildlife products and supporting the development of sustainable livelihoods.
The conference will focus primarily on elephants, rhinos and tigers as the iconic species are the primary targets of organized criminal activity and are faced with unprecedented levels of poaching.