The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, has unveiled actor Edward Norton, as the new Magical Kenya Tembo Naming Global Ambassador.
Speaking on Friday at the Nairobi National Park, the CS said the Tembo naming festival, is an event for animal profiling and fundraising, a move aimed at conserving wildlife.
“We have managed to tame poaching. During the year 2020, we managed to record no number of rhino poached. At the moment, we have recorded 200 baby elephants at Amboseli National Park, 36,000 elephants and recently this year 900 white rhinos,” Balala noted.
The CS announced that various projects will be launched in the country to boost wildlife preservation and the international market.
“On Thursday during the Wildlife Day, we launched the White Rhino Strategic Plan, which entails proposals on how the species can be protected,” Balala stated.
The CS recommended that in support of green energy, stakeholders and partners should embrace the use of electric vehicles in the tourism sector and beyond, so as to save on energy and reduce pollution.
He at the same time thanked the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB), for putting Kenya on the frontline as a tourism destination in Africa, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. Balala appealed to all relevant stakeholders to engage the community in wildlife protection.
“We have to put the community at the centre, as one of the agents of wildlife conservation,” he noted.
The Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for Tourism, Zeinab Hussein, urged all partners to contribute towards wildlife conservation.
“Wildlife is the biggest tourism aspect in Kenya and fostering a partnership aimed towards wildlife conservation, will greatly boost the country’s economy,” the PS said.
During the occasion, the new Tembo Naming Global Ambassador, Edward Norton, announced that he will name the new twin elephants, after his two children Atlas and Evelyn.
“The name Atlas is special to me since, in Greek mythology, he was a biological god who fought against the gods of men while Evelyn or Eve is the first woman to be created,” said Norton.
He stressed that a healthy ecosystem is necessary as it promotes the economic sector of a country. “Kenya currently is in the frontline for preserving wildlife as a way of boosting the national economy,” Norton said.
He assured that a partnership between the Ministry of Tourism and Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) and the community, will help in promoting revenue and conservation in the country.
“We should communicate and engage young people in bio-diversity. Creating a direct connection between the people and wildlife will help us come up with ways through which we can conserve wildlife,” he added.
The KWS Director-General, John Waweru, urged all stakeholders to make use of the three pillars of the KWS Strategic Plan namely; conservation, enterprise and collaboration.
“We are looking for ways in which we can collaborate with various institutions so that we can have a partnership which revolves around wildlife conservation,” Waweru said.