Justice For Nairobi National Park
May 8, 2020
In April, WildlifeDirect was among the conservation organizations and stakeholders that called on the Kenya Wildlife Service and Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife to postpone the process and development of the proposed Nairobi National Park Management Plan due to COVID-19 that is preventing proper public participation. The Ministry heeded the call and extended public participation to June 2020.
WildlifeDirect launched a letter-writing campaign asking for more time and over 350 people wrote to the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife, Kenya Wildlife Service, and the National Environment Management Authority. The Ministry granted two more months to allow for proper consultation.
The Nairobi National Park is a vital repository of biodiversity and plays a key role in the health of the capital city of Nairobi, home to over 4.3 million Kenyans. The park occupies 15% of the County of Nairobi, and its natural environments benefit the inhabitants of the city through numerous free services including cleaning the air and weather, absorbing the water and preventing floods, providing habitats for pollinators, natural pest controllers like bats and insects and is a carbon sink among many other benefits worth billions of shillings. The future of the park, therefore, affects millions of Kenyans today and will become increasingly important over time as the national population and economy continue to grow at a very fast rate. The Park is under immense external pressure from developments and growing human population and the absence of a management plan has seen developments such as the Southern Bypass, the Standard Gauge Railway, and the container depot road. These developments have had a significant negative impact on the park not least in terms of aesthetic attraction.
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