Project Description

Securing migratory corridors and biodiversity for climate stability

August 31st, 2021

On 25th of August, our CEO Dr Paula Kahumbu was interviewed by Stephen Sackur on BBC Hardtalk, the world’s most-watched news show with 70 million viewers. Under heavy grilling, Dr Kahumbu defended the position that Kenya and Africa must protect their wildlife heritage by keeping industry, infrastructure, and agriculture out of protected areas. She noted that development must not threaten the wild places as these are vital life support systems for the continent including water, soil, pollination, and biodiversity.

Without healthy ecosystems, Kenya and Africa will have little resilience against climate change which will impoverish millions leading to greater suffering and insecurity. When asked if Kenyans shared her views, Dr Kahumbu reminded Mr Sackur that the conservation movement in Kenya is thriving.

She said “You would be amazed at how many people have put their land aside for conservation. One hundred and sixty landowners have created conservation areas, doubling the real estate for conservation in the last 10 years. Stephen, this is not small, this is significant areas of land that are now set aside by people who are not rich. Why are they doing it? Because they have a strong traditional cultural connection to the land and the animals on it, and they want to maintain their lifestyle of pastoralism. This is something that the government should be grabbing with both hands because by securing this land you’re securing carbon, you’re securing water sources and watersheds, you are securing biodiversity…Yes, we do need all the development but development doesn’t have to destroy the protected areas”.

WildlifeDirect’s vision is to change hearts and minds and laws to protect Africa’s spectacular wildlife into perpetuity and this interview is one of several that Dr Kahumbu has been giving ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26), in Glasgow, Scotland in November this year. You can listen to the 23 minutes HARDtalk interview here or read the full transcript here. We would love to read your feedback – you can email Dr. Kahumbu at