Kenya Airways has embarked on a new initiative that targets raising over £540,000 (KSh60 million) annually for wildlife conservation in Kenya, in partnership with the Born Free Foundation.
Under the campaign dubbed ‘Change Brings Change’, bags will be circulated in all Kenya Airways’ flights for passengers to donate to wildlife conservation causes throughout the world. The raised funds will then be deployed to national parks and conservancies.
The initiative projects that up to £45,000 (KSh5.6 million) could be raised every month, based on current passenger traffic handled by the airline, which translate into over KSh60 million. Global foreign exchange specialist, Travelex, will be involved in handling the collections.
Kenya Airways Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Titus Naikuni said that the initiative underlined the airline’s commitment to promoting sustainable development in Africa by conserving wildlife.
“Wildlife is not only part of our heritage in Kenya but also a key driver of the tourism industry, which is a major foreign exchange earner and creator of job opportunities. For this reason, we all have a responsibility to support the conservation of wildlife. I would like to challenge guests on all our flights to give generously to this noble cause,” Dr Naikuni added.
The new initiative comes in the wake of growing concern over escalating cases of wildlife poaching, especially of rhinos and elephants, largely driven by demand for ivory and rhino horn in the Far East.
According to official statistics from the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, the country has lost 214 elephants and 36 rhinos to poaching since the beginning of the year. In addition to poaching, other challenges facing wildlife conservation include climate change, human wildlife conflict and pressure from the burgeoning human population.
The founder of the Born Free Foundation, Virginia McKenna, said that the initiative would help plug gaps in financing wildlife conservation, which currently relies mainly on government allocations.
“We all have a responsibility to invest in conserving our wildlife. There is more value in investing in living creatures than it is putting money into inanimate objects,” Ms McKenna added.
The new initiative follows others supported by the airline. In July, Kenya Airways has joined the ‘Hands Off Our Elephants’ campaign which is spearheaded by Kenya’s First Lady, Margaret Kenyatta, has been put together by WildlifeDirect, a wildlife conservation charity, and aims at ending elephants poaching and ivory trafficking through Kenya, as well as eliminating demand for the commodity around the world.