The purpose of the Tourism and Wildlife Policy is to facilitate the management of Kenya’s extensive and unique and endangered wildlife heritage, including flora, fauna, beaches, rivers, streams and ecosystem services in a sustainable manner for the benefit of current and future generations. Also to promote accountability, responsive and responsible wildlife and ecosystems management while promoting tourism (domestic and international) which is a global income earner with increasing potential. The policy also lays a foundation to addresses the financial requirements for the adequate and effective support of the sectors for positive economic, cultural and social impact and for our country’s positioning and competitiveness as a priority destination globally.
The scope of this policy covers the Government of Kenya’s Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife. Third Way Alliance Party Kenya’s role in shadowing the work of the Ministry makes it a primary stakeholder and concerned party on behalf of the Kenyan people. The Policy makes limited mention of cross cutting themes of environment, gender, transport, water sanitation and devolution, sports, heritage, ICTs and Labour only in so far as it relates to management of the Tourism and Wildlife sector and implementation of the policy.
This Wildlife and Tourism policy abides by standards proscribed by: -
The Tourism Strategy and Sector Plan and Wildlife National Conservation and Management Policy are independent documents. This is because the Wildlife docket was housed within the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources during the previous administration They will therefore be appraised separately for this policy however Third way Alliance Shadow CS and team will undertake a process to merge and harmonize the two documents to resolve any areas of conflict and address any gaps.
The Tourism Strategy and sector plan documents were relied on extensive stakeholder consultations and focused on ensuring full utilization of tourist investments capacities and capital. The Strategy identifies five strategic areas: The need for:
The above are guided by an overriding philosophy of a dignified nation geared towards wealth creation. The emphasis being that local tourism reaches over 55% bed occupancy per year in 2018. This will increase utilization of tourism investments and facilities and reduce cost of maintenance while stabilizing the industry against international upheavals. International tourist arrivals are projected to grow from below 2 million to over 3 million per year.
Third way Alliance Party Kenya agrees with the Ministry’s Tourism Strategy and Sector Plan’s focus overall; However, Tourism is the only export business in which consumption takes place in the home country while being subject to domestic VAT. Placing emphasis on promoting domestic tourism means looking at the tax regime around it to ensure affordability by the majority of Kenyans. Tourism should also be approached from the perspective of fostering a sense of pride and patriotism and ownership for the tourism investments in the country. The need to educate the population about what is contained within their country’s borders. A need to encourage a culture of holiday making to de-stress and recuperate from the busy lifestyles, thereby promoting a healthy work life balance, The SCS team will check on the policy at present where employers who pay holidays for their employees’ subject to a set maximum are allowed to deduct that expense from their tax that is due. A need to instill pride for one’s country and cultural cohesion by appreciating the diversity of lifestyles and cultures, create more job opportunities within the hospitality industry as well as in other service industries such as entertainment, agriculture, promote infrastructural development (roads, ICTs) in the holiday making areas as well as a competitive spirit within counties to attract more local tourists for economic and other benefit.
Diversification of tourism products:
Conference tourism is key to this sector, investments in this sector is critical and we believe that the tourism docket should promote Nairobi as the conference hub in Africa. Especially considering all multinational blue-chip organizations and the UN Headquarters in East and Central Africa. Currently Nairobi cannot handle a 25,000 guest with a minimum 4-star accommodation. The capacity Nairobi has ever handled is 10,000 guests. Kenya risks losing conferences of such magnitude will be lost to countries such as Malaysia and Singapore due to their bed capacity. We have identified a service gap where in Nairobi the conference capacity far outstrips bed capacity. While in Mombasa, bed capacity far outstrips conference capacity. The net effect of this is that Nairobi and Mombasa are losing conferences. The solution that the SCS team will seek is to encourage private investment in bed capacity in Nairobi and expansion of conference capacity in Mombasa by the Government putting up a Convention Centre there with a minimum capacity of at least 5000 pax.
The National Wildlife Conservation and Management Policy 2017 reflects the aspiration of stakeholders who were consulted in the formulation and review process. It takes into account the 1975 Sessional Paper No3 on the ‘Statement of the Future of Wildlife Management Policy in Kenya. This was a major innovation in the sector that sought for an integrated approach to wildlife management through community and private sector participation; and through a centralized government. However, the Constitution of Kenya 2010 led to enactment of the Wildlife Conservation Management Act 2013. This Act recognized the constitutional reality of three tenure systems. It includes provisions dealing with conservancies both on community and private land as well as provisions for benefit sharing. The acceleration of loss of wildlife population, degradation and fragmentation of habitats and loss of ecosystem functions was a concern. Effects of climate change, spread of invasive species and outbreaks of diseases, advances in wildlife conservation and lack of coordinated enactment of sectoral policies in natural resource governance underscored the need for a wildlife policy. International conventions to which Kenya is signatory such as the Convention on Biodiversity, The Ramsair Convention on wetlands of international importance; Convention of Trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora; The Lusaka Agreement on Cooperative Enforcement Operations directed at illegal trade in wild fauna and flora; African convention on conservation of nature and natural resources; EAC treaty especially the provisions of Wildlife conservation. These further strengthen the policy and legislation with implications to wildlife conservation and management in Kenya. Sustainable Goal 3 is concerned with the well-being of the people. This is strengthened by the economic contributions of tourists who are attracted to the country due to its conservation efforts. Other major documents including the Climate Change Policy 2013-2017, Community Land Forest Act 2016, the Water Act 2016, the Mining Act 206, and several others form a formidable background on which the policy premised and actionable.
Amongst its many objectives is
As the duty bearer, the Government of Kenya has 14 obligations. They range from giving priority to establishment and protection of wildlife migratory corridors and routes that ensure critical wildlife habitats are conserved for the maintenance of wildlife populations; to providing adequate incentives for communities to invest in wildlife consecration amongst others ; preventing or mitigating against threats like pollution, to native wildlife by planned and unplanned physical development in important wildlife habitats including areas important as wildlife corridors.
Wildlife resources contribute to substantial proportion to the Kenyan economy through tourist earnings. Most come primarily to view wildlife in Kenya which has a diverse native species.
Thirdway Alliance Kenya fully agrees with the Wildlife Conservation and Management Policy 2017. We will be focused on implementation of this policy and all its statements and aspirations. With specific note to the duty bearer responsibilities to conserve and protect our national heritage and habitats from unscrupulous land dealers and divestures with little regard for the country’s natural heritage and wildlife wealth.
The Shadow Cabinet Secretary and her team shall report on behalf of the Kenyan people using multimedia available to the team. The team will be happy to report monitoring findings to the CS periodically in order to help facilitate service delivery in a timely and adequate manner in all focal areas.
The Shadowing team will maintain all records relevant to administering this policy in public database that is accessible virtually to all Kenyans and other interested individuals and organizations globally. This is key to ensuring that the principle of transparency and accountability is achieved according to the policy aspirations.
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