Journalists from three counties have been trained to report on conservation issues in the country as a way of broadening their understanding of the topic. More than 20 scribes drawn from Nairobi, Nyeri, and Laikipia converged at a Nanyuki hotel for the one-day sensitization on reporting on conservation matters organized by the Laikipia Conservancies Association (LCA) in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). LCA chairman Kip ole Polos said that there was a need for the media to highlight conservation efforts undertaken by different players across the country as one way of inculcating a culture of environmental protection in society. 'The media should prioritize highlighting conservation efforts in their reporting so that environment protection is embraced by all Kenyans for the prosperity of the nation,' Ole Polos told the forum. He added that his association had brought together 28 community and private conservancies under one umbrella to forge a common front in environmental and wildlife conservation and also help in the mitigation of the effects of climate change. He noted that the country had lost a significant number of animal and plant species and seen huge swaths of land degraded due to a lack of conservation awareness among the population. 'It's high time the media stepped in and created awareness if we are to reverse the trend,' he said. 'The nine community conservancies and 19 private ones came together and forged hands with the sole mission of taking conservation to a new level in Laikipia where everyone benefits,' the LCA chair said. Ole Polos further revealed that the conservancies, besides the conservation of ecosystems and wildlife, also support the local economy by paying taxes and providing employment opportunities to residents. 'The conservancies have been uplifting the lives of residents by supporting education through the building of schools, offering scholarships, and providing water and health facilities to communities living nearby,' he said. John Logan, from USAID and currently working as a conservation consultant at Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Laikipia, noted that everyone in society had a role to play in conservation but stressed that the media played a critical role in disseminating efforts in environmental conservation. Lydia Nyawira, a Nyeri-based journalist, said that the forum had expanded her scope of understanding conservation matters and that she was thus better placed to give detailed and informative reporting on them.
Source: Kenya News Agency