The Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife held its first-ever roundtable with conservation stakeholders to discuss the critical role of wildlife in solving climate change challenges.

The meeting brought together representatives from Conservation Alliance of Kenya, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other NGOs, public and commercial sectors.

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza called for concerted efforts to come up with sustainable solutions to challenges facing the environment and the economy.

“Our fervent wish is a unified sector where people, environment and economy, are thriving and benefiting sustainably from Kenya’s real wealth which lies in the resources of the earth—soil, water, forests, minerals and wildlife,” said Malonza.

IFAW President and CEO Azzedine Downes said the objective of the Wildlife Round Table was to foster collaboration between diverse sectors in support of wildlife conservation.

“We have drawn together decision makers who may not have previously considered the critical role they can play in Kenya’s development agenda while still supporting its biodiversity goals and helping limit climate change,” said Downes.

Earlier this week Downes met with President William Ruto where they agreed Kenya will play a critical role in the success of Room to Roam—a long-term multi-agency plan to protect critical landscapes from Southern to East Africa.

Conservation Alliance of Kenya Board Chair Lucy Waruingi lauded the meeting as an important development for the wildlife and conservation sector.

“The roundtables will enable the conservation sector to engage on a high-level platform on the cross-cutting issues that affect sustainable management and use of our natural resources,” noted Waruingi.

She added: “This will create the space needed to ensure conservation is everyone's business and we welcome the leadership of the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife and H.E President Dr. William Ruto in launching this initiative.”