Kenya Wildlife Service
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) conserves and manages Kenya’s wildlife for the Kenyan people and the world. It is a state corporation established by an Act of Parliament Cap 376 with the mandate to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya, and to enforce related laws and regulations.
The challenges facing wildlife and biodiversity conservation in Kenya are many and varied. They include climate change, habitat degradation and loss, forest depletion, tourism market volatility, human wildlife conflict brought on by population growth and changing land use habits of communities that co-exist with wildlife as well as wildlife crime.
To tackle these issues, we employ a multi-pronged approach and strategies and engage different interest groups, stakeholders and partners.
KWS undertakes conservation and management of wildlife resources outside protected areas in collaboration with stakeholders. It is KWS's goal to work with others to conserve, protect and sustainably manage wildlife resources. The community wildlife program of KWS in collaboration with others encourages biodiversity conservation by communities living on land essential to wildlife, such as wildlife corridors and dispersal lands outside parks and reserves. The premise is that "if people benefit from wildlife and other natural resources, then they will take care of these resources."
Mandate: Stewardship of National Parks and Reserves, including security for visitors and wildlife within and outside protected areas; oversight of wildlife conservation and management outside protected areas, including those under local authorities, community and private sanctuaries, conservation education and training, wildlife research and input into national wildlife-related law and policy, and adapting and carrying out international conventions and protocols.
More specifically, conserving the wildlife heritage and habitat requires multiple roles in multiple sectors. These include:
Parks and Reserves: KWS manages about 8 per cent of the total landmass of the country. This land contains 22 National Parks, 28 National Reserves and 5 National Sanctuaries. Also under KWS management are 4 Marine National Parks and 6 Marine National Reserves at the Coast. In addition, KWS manages 125 field stations outside protected areas. Beyond wildlife habitats, the parks and stations feature office and residential blocks, training institutes, workshop areas, research centres, bandas, hotels, shops and restaurants, boreholes, road networks, airstrips and related plants and equipment.