A wildlife conservationist has called on the government to empower local communities to step up the war against poaching.
Elephant Neighbours Centre director Jim Nyamu said the community plays a significant in safeguarding wildlife.
“The existence of the ecosystem depends on the activities of the people who either destroy or protect it hence the importance to sensitise the public on safeguarding wildlife,” Mr Nyamu said.
He was speaking at Meru School during an awareness campaign dubbed “Ivory Belongs to Elephants”.
Mr Nyamu who is on a 1,050 kilometre-walk across the country to raise awareness on elephant poaching, lamented that human settlements had mushroomed on wildlife migratory corridors, escalating human-wildlife conflict.
“Haphazard use of land has contributed to the conflict between humans and animals,” he added.
He observed that if the elephant population dwindled in the country, both local and domestic tourists would opt for other countries to go and see the animals.
He said the walk is also meant to mobilise resources for elephant protection and research in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service.