By Steve Njumbi
The poaching crisis has taken centre stage with the Cabinet deliberating on the issue twice in as many weeks. The Cabinet has ordered that poaching be tackled by a combination of KWS.
Let me introduce what I think is the underlying problem. Wildlife anti-poaching should never have been the remit of a department (read KWS) that is outside the police. Wildlife poaching, like any other crime, is the direct responsibility of the police. Period.
I first aired this view in October 2012, and the response was first and furious. The majority screamed at me for daring to propose that KWS's excellent anti-poaching rangers be incorporated into that corrupt Police Service. They will become corrupt they said.
However, latest reports coming from KWS should make us all think about whether corruption is confined to the police.
So, if we can remove ourselves from the hangover of how wildlife management became confused and infused with wildlife security, let us face squarely what wildlife managementconservation is really about.
In the words of a fellow graduate of wildlife management at Moi University, "wildlife management is 60 per cent people management, 30 per cent science (species and habitat) and only 10 per cent park/conservation area operations".
Conservationist Mordecai Ogada, director of Laikipa Wildlife Forum, offered the following definition: 'Wildlife management is about re-connecting the thinking of the exotic observer/ user/ student of wildlife with the needs, aspirations and opinions of the local person who shares the habitat/ country with that wildlife. More....