Coronavirus is not a cover, it’s a symptom
|· Development plans threaten the diversity and existence of Nairobi National Park, home to indigenous Maasai peoples and wildlife alike|
· Luxury developments will effectively stop the free flow of wildlife and breaking-up the wildlife dispersal area, the nature reserve’s life-line
· Nairobi National Park is the oldest park in East and Central Africa and the world’s only natural wildlife park to exist within a capital city
· This ancestral symbiotic community of life, untouched for millennia, is at great risk and requires a global push, for future generations
Social Hastags: #SaveNNP #SaveNairobiNationalPark #LoveandRageInTimesofCorona #XRAfrica
Extinction Rebellion Kenya defines the Coronavirus as the perfect distraction, enabling Kenya’s Wildlife Service (KWS) to forge ahead with its proposal to build luxury hotels, swimming pools and lodges within the Nairobi National Park (NNP).
8 june, 2020 (Nairobi, Kenya) – One of the planet’s natural wonders, Nairobi National Park (NNP), is on her deathbed. The centuries old traditional habitat of ancestral Maasai peoples, as well as endangered wildlife is under siege.
The government of Kenya is on the verge of approving massively disruptive infrastructure development projects within the Nairobi National Park, one of Kenya’s oldest parks. Plans include a luxury hotel complete with a spa, a gym and helipad as well as a private retirement home. To achieve this, fencing off areas of the park will be required, effectively stopping the free flow of wildlife and breaking-up the wildlife dispersal area, the nature reserve’s life-line.
“Utter destruction will occur if this goes ahead, converting the park into a thing of the past, as its unique nature is slowly diluted into nothing more than a glorified zoo,” explains Reinhard Bonke, founding Executive Director of the African Sustainability Network. “As private citizens seize control over this indigenous and wildlife sanctuary, ancestral lands and wildlife diversity will be diminished through inbreeding, territorial reduction, fragmentation, culling and habitat encroachment, as we have already seen in other parts of the country,” he adds.
Nairobi National Park is the oldest park in East and Central Africa (designated in 1946) and the world’s only natural wildlife park to exist within a capital city, spread out over 117km. It hosts a big population of large mammals, including lion, buffalo, leopard and rhinos. It is the oldest park in East and Central Africa (gazetted in 1946) and the only black rhino sanctuary, one of the world’s most endangered species. It lies within the greater Athi Kapiti ecosystem/migration corridor which, as recently as the 1980, would witness breathtaking migrations of zebras, wildebeest, and giraffes.
The National Park has experienced a dramatic reduction in the number and variety of species within as result of developments eating away at bits of the corridor and the fringes of the park itself. Nairobi National Park, which used to host a healthy cheetah population, now registers a single cheetah. Wild dogs are no longer present, while the aardwolf is increasingly hard to come by. Roads, oil pipelines, dry docks access routes and other infrastructure projects have been diverted through the park, not only disrupting the pristine landscape but bringing with it a heavy resurgence of allopathic invasive species, specifically the highly noxious parthenium species. The fate of NNP is the fate of all parks in the near future, as land previously protected and secured for future generations of humans and wildlife, is being identified as idle land targeted for development.
This reality flies in the face of what seemed like a victory for the preservation of life in the east African country, when the Kenyan Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife developed and launched its National Wildlife Strategy 2030 in 2018. Its stated main purpose is to “maintain and improve habitat and ecosystem integrity to reduce biodiversity loss, protect ecosystem function, enhance connectivity, and increase resilience.” The construction of hotels, restaurants, and houses in the already suffocating is contrary to this. So why is it happening?
Key development initiatives are in direct conflict with conservation efforts, while stakeholders and conservation experts are not effectively involved at any stage of the decision-making process. This is made worse by poor inter-sectoral and interagency communication and policy alignment.
The proposed project by Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) will, in-itself, bring more harm than good to both the existing wildlife and the indigenous communities living within the park. This ancestral symbiotic community of life, untouched for millennia, is at great risk and requires a global push, if future generations are to enjoy this breathtaking natural monument.
“We ask the world to join us and stand for safeguarding the posterity of the park. Whatever will happen to this park will determine the safety of other Kenya’s parks and Africa at large,” explains Fazeela Mubaraak from the African Sustainability Network. “We are in the process of filing a court case questioning the formulation process of this management plan and against the encroachment of Kenya’s parks.”
For further information or interviews with rebels in over 20 African countries please contact:
African Sustainability Network
Extinction Rebellion Africa Media Team
Tel: (+34) 682 398 702
About Extinction Rebellion Africa:
Present in over 20 African countries, XR Africa will ensure the impact of coronavirus is not an excuse to forget about a far more serious crisis. Its African based PR team pledges to provide the world’s media with regular updates to ensure the planet is aware of how the Climate and Ecological Emergency plays out across the continent.
Extinction Rebellion Africa has three demands:
1. The truth must be told about what reality the Climate and Ecological Emergency represents for Africans by committing to inform every last person.
2. An immediate reduction in Green House Gas emissions, taking advantage of the developing nature of African economies, transforming and adapting towards clean and ecologically minded models of energy.
3. A return to African democratic values, historically egalitarian societies in which government was more a matter of consensus among the entire adult population, through the introduction of citizen’s assemblies to guide a response to the Climate and Ecological Emergency, unhindered by economic or political interests, in the interest of all life.