“What organizations and communities measure often determines what they pay attention to and says much about what they value. We believe that one of the greatest challenges currently faced by the conservation movement – and others seeking to create stronger relationships between healthy people, communities and lands – is the way we define, talk about and measure success. The challenge is that we become what we measure, and conservationists primarily measure dollars, acres, and biological diversity…” Peter Forbes, from the Centre for Whole Communities once voiced as he rallied Americans to conserve their environment.
I heavily borrow from Forbes today in my arguments and would like you to ride the tide with me.
I would like to pose the following questions and want you to answer. Could lions be extinct in Kenya in the next two decades? Will Nairobi River ever hold water rafting competitions? Will settlers in Mau Forest ever be kicked out? And will Kenya ever appreciate the iron lady of conservation Wangari Maathai as a heroine?
Today, I would like to appreciate the conservation efforts that have being undertaken by various environmentalists and even the government. And I’d like to urge you to rise up to the occasion and supplement these efforts.
I want you to be a voice for success stories like the effort that is ongoing in clean up of Nairobi River. I want to play a key role in a new facet of tree planting in Karura and Mau forests, the reclamation of Mt Kenya forest and feel these acts of success. I would like you to join me and others in the great success and be part of history of reconstruction. Let’s change our perception and flourish with these acts of greatness and build the future for generations to come.
I want to urge you to feel good about conservation and live with it… I want you to inhale that fresh air….the scented and welcoming air after rains hit the earth.
I want you to be a mediator between the communities who live with wild animals and tell them to live with nature…instead of using furadan laced arrows to kill the lions of mara. Tell them to walk with them as you have been doing for ages.
Be, and let it be that you mediate between the settlers of Mau forest and the conservators so that rivers would begin to flow, wildebeest – the seventh wonder of the world – continue their migration to and from Serengeti through the Mara, flamingoes breed from nests in Lake Natron – whose principal inflow is the perennial Ewaso Ngiro river, which rises on the Mau Escarpment – these can only happen if Mau remains a forest.
And finally, live and be a voice that compliments the great conservationists like Wangari Maathai, the Born Free Foundation, The Rhino Ark and others. Help the Kenya Wildlife Service in its effort to conserve our flora and fauna….be part of it and live it.