Archive for March, 2016

East African Wildlife Society’s Press Release: Unwarranted Killing of Nairobi Park’s Star Lion

I have sharply condemned the killing of this lion and said in a Tweet that he was shot in cold blood, to the apparent upset of people I know at KWS. Sorry my friends, your response to this lion excursion left everything to be desired and the press statements, very sadly, were not worth the effort to send them out and a waste of valuable PR time.
This puts a huge dent into Kenya’s attempt to shine as a conservation nation ahead of the burning of 115 tons of ivory and THAT is really a shame but was brought on entirely by institutional incompetence and very poor handling of the aftermath.

The Unwarranted Killing of Nairobi Park’s Star Lion

Nairobi, Kenya – 31st March 2016. The insensitive and brutal killing of the Star Lion (Mohawk) of Nairobi National Park, by the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS) Ranger after it strayed from the park heavily dents the Lion conservation spirit in the country. More worrying is that this ill act was advanced by KWS mandated to conserve and manage wildlife resources in Kenya.

The delayed response by the KWS and the way the matter was handled left a lot to be desired. The local community and the administration contacted the KWS as soon as the lion was spotted and even went ahead to trail and guarded the lion for more than 6 hours in the hope that it would be captured and returned to the park. The decision to shoot and kill the black-maned Mohawk negated the principle of community-lead wildlife conservation. This waters down the conservation efforts that KWS itself, the public and partners have championed for years in an attempt to mitigate human-wildlife conflict.

“It is hard to understand why KWS would choose to ruthlessly shoot the lion in broad day light as members of the public watched rather than sedate the animal and take it back to the park,” said Julius Kamau, Executive Director of the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS).

Mr. Kamau added, “It portrays inexcusable incompetence on the part of KWS, an institution mandated to manage and conserve wildlife resources for Kenyans. It is a total vacation of their [KWS’] legitimate role and someone must be held responsible.” He further noted that Mohawk’s demise will see the number of lions in Nairobi National Park drop from 35 to 34. “We can’t afford to buy our silence or be slow in this matter. Let us all act now and defend our lions, because if we don’t, we may deny future generations the opportunity to see lions in the wild as we have a population of only 2000 lions in the entire country.”

This incident is the latest in a spate of cases where the big cats have sneaked into human settlements in the suburbs of Nairobi. In the space of two months, there have been at least three confirmed cases of lions coming into contact with people in Nairobi and the surrounding areas. In early February, several lions strayed from the park at night and wandered into the Lang’ata suburb. In the middle of this month a 63-year-old man was almost killed by a lion as he walked to work along the Nairobi-Mombasa Road. The latest incident left a motorcyclist badly injured.

As Kenyans ponder the circumstances of Mohawk’s death and the increasing incidences of human-lion conflict, they must also take time to reflect on the reasons why lions are finding their way from the Nairobi National Park to the surrounding urban areas.

Why are these incidences of human-lion encounters on the rise? Is the city’s rapid development and land use change causing an ecological imbalance? New residential estates are increasingly popping up in areas too close to national parks and wildlife corridors. But even as we develop new human settlements and infrastructure, we must be wary of the consequences of destroying ecosystems that support and nurture our treasured flora and fauna.

Mr. Kamau adds, “In the past 3 years, there has been a lot of talk around the issue of Nairobi National Park and the Southern Bypass and the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). These developments have caused serious negative impacts on the environment and natural resources. It is however possible to have economic prosperity and environmental sustainability complementing rather than competing with each other. This can only happen if the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) and issuance of the NEMA licence to all proposed developments is well informed, objective and uphold the principle of sustainable development. It is unfortunate that the EIA process in Kenya has been compromised and influenced largely by economic forces.”

If the government would want to protect the right of future generations it has no choice than embrace the principle of sustainable development as a core value of governance as stipulated in the Kenyan constitution. On our part, the EAWLS will continue to be the evidence-based voice of conservation to ensure that this core value of governance is upheld and protected always.

For more information please contact

Julius Kamau Julius.Kamau or Robert Magori Robert.Magori

Additional information on the Nairobi National Park

The Nairobi National Park is an important wildlife area that is home to a pride of 15 lions, critically endangered bird species and the iconic rhino. From an economic viewpoint, the park caters to 120,000 visitors every year, but being the only wildlife park in a capital city in the world it is faced with major pressures brought about by increased development around it.

UNWTO releases new publications

Kenya Airways enters second phase of cost reduction

AFTER ASSET SALES, FLEET REDUCTION AND OTHER SAVINGS ARE STAFF COST REDUCTIONS NEXT IN LINE AT KENYA AIRWAYS

(Posted 31st March 2016)

First it was the change in senior management figures, thought to bear significant responsibility for decisions taken in the past which led Kenya Airways close to the financial abyss.
Then came the progressive disposal of surplus aircraft, by selling and leasing out the airline’s Boeing B777-200’s and B777-300’s.
Third came the rationalisation of schedules, especially for the flights from Nairobi to London, avoiding the costly all day layover of a state of the art Boeing B787 Dreamliner aircraft on the ground, as the new schedule ensures an immediate turnaround.
While flights for instance to the increasingly profitable route to Antananarivo have been doubled, were other destinations with lesser traffic volumes seeing either the deployment of smaller aircraft or a reduction of frequencies to match actual demand.
A host of additional measures vis a vis contract revisions and re-negotiations of existing deals also yielded substantial financial results, as the Board of Kenya Airways went along to implement, step by step, the measures proposed by global management consulting giant McKinsey in a report presented to the Board in the last quarter of 2015.
Dubbed ‘Operation Pride‘ is the airline looking at overall savings in the amount of 200 million US Dollars, to be achieved by both cost reductions and a rise in revenues.
Advances made in the areas described above however will not be enough and it is understood from usually reliable sources close to the airline that the Board of Directors has sanctioned a staff reduction programme which will see either re-deployment, where practicable and contractually allowed, or redundancies, with all required financial ‘golden handshakes‘ of course being part of such measures.
As many as six hundred staff will be affected by these measures which will begin to take root in May this year and which, it is understood from another source, already have the backing of the company’s largest shareholders, the Government of Kenya and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
Kenya Airways’ Group CEO Mr. Mbuvi Ngunze, went on record earlier in the afternoon when he said: ‘The decision is not made lightly, and I want to thank all employees for their tremendous resilience and commitment in serving our guests in challenging times for the company. I am confident that with the support of all staff, unions, shareholders, creditors, financiers and all other stakeholders, Operation Pride will bring back airline’s term and reconfirm our position as the Pride of Africa‘.
It is expected that there will be hard talks ahead between the management of the company and in particular the unions, which will have to come to terms with a make or break scenario this time. Failing to address cost issues may drive the airline to the brink of financial failure should concessions not be made and compromise not be reached and, in this correspondent’s humble opinion, East Africa’s skies without Kenya Airways is simply unthinkable.
Were mistakes made in the past? The answer to that is a resounding yes but the current management, after replacing several top managers in recent months, is well on the way to put things right again and pave the way for a much improved future performance.
Happy Landings!

Reunion celebrates ‘Tourism Week’

REUNION MEETS INDIA – THE THEME OF THE 2016 TOURISM WEEK FESTIVAL ON THE ISLAND

(Posted 31st March 2016)

Seventh edition of the Tourism Festival in Reunion

The Tourism Professional University Institute (IUP) on Reunion is organizing the seventh edition of the Tourism Week. This event comes as part of the academic training activity for jobs in tourism, aims to sensitize the local population to the tourism industry and its economic impact. Presentations take place all over the island, from Thursday 31st March to Wednesday, 06th April.

Following the theme "Reunion meets China" which was developed in 2015, this year the IUP tourism department attaches to another piece of Reunion culture with the theme "Reunion meets India". Stop on the route to India, Reunion Island has a history forged by African population which came to the island from Madagascar, Europe and Asia. This multifaceted land with plural origins notably saw the arrival of the first Indian contract workers in the nineteenth century.

The 2016 Tourism Festival puts forward the slope of the historical heritage of the island through a program of cultural activities, sporting or charitable. Since 2015 and the 2019, the Tourism Festival will focus on tourism of memory on a set schedule:

  • 2015 Reunion meets China
  • 2016 Reunion meets India
  • 2017 Reunion meets Afrcia
  • 2018 Reunion meets France
  • 2019 Reunion in a Creole World

The program of the 2016 Tourism Week

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Academic conference on "Reunion Land of India" in the amphitheater of the Reunion IAE: academic intervention teachers and professionals, tourism professionals and students of second year Master Tourism Management and Engineering on different topics around the same theme.

Friday, 1 April 2016

  • E-Clip Festival Reunion (FER): projecting videos made ​​by students of MIT Master with selection of the best clips by the jury of the ERF and final in the amphitheater of the IAE.
  • Gala IUP Tourism in the gardens of the IAE: Indian buffet and cocktail, Indian dances, raffle, henna booth and photo exhibition.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Beach volleyball competition of the Association of Lupiens Mascarene (AIM) event organized by the students to give this Tourism Week a sporty touch.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Shares in the Elderly Accommodation Establishments for Dependent (nursing homes) of St. Paul and St. Peter establishment of workshops by the IUP tourism students to discover the elderly colors of India around fun activities based on the five senses.

During the event, AIM, students and tourism IUP’s teachers will conduct charitable actions to fight against abuses that the tourism industry can generate:

  • Child prostitution: creation and diffusion on the media clip "Do you hear?" released in 2015 with the participation of local artists. Leafleting in companies, among partners and in the street. Awareness through photo exhibitions in university libraries of Reunion. Interventions on television, on radio, in print.
  • The AIDS virus: information campaign and the Rapid Test for Diagnosis Orientation (TROD).

More destination information can be accessed via www.reunion.fr

More from the World Tourism Wire …

Updates and comments on activities by UNWTO, WTTC, PATA, ETOA, ICTP and other global organization leading the global travel & tourism industry
www.worldtourismwire.com

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Ministerial Debate with the Private Sector on Pacific Island Tourism

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), in partnership with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), will hold the PATA/UNWTO Ministerial Debate on Pacific Island Tourism in Guam, USA on May 21, 2016. The event, generously hosted by the Guam Visitors Bureau (GVB), will be held at the Dusit Thani Guam Resort. During the high-level debate, representatives

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The Livingstone biWeekly – more tourism news from ‘Further Down South’

Courtesy of Gill Staden, here comes another edition of the Livingstone bi-Weekly covering events in Zambia, Zimbabwe
and beyond …

https://thelivingstoneweekly.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/tlbw30mar16-compressed.pdf

Cliff diving off the Victoria Falls

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otbAXEFJaCs

Inside the newsletter:

Staple food prices

Fuel crisis

Kazungula pontoon

Barotse Floodplain highway

Solwezi-Chingola Road

Kapenta and Lerish

No IMF Programme

New Maps

Zimbabwe Fishermen arrested

SMART Training in Lower Zambezi

Chongwe Outreach

The Sky Elephant

PDF – Saving Cusp

Painted Dog Conservation Trust – People visiting dens

Wild dog swims the Zambezi

Black mambas mating

MAPP – Pangolin poachers and Lion Alert in Kariba

Botswana’s Anti-poaching

Oxpecker gets a shower from a giraffe

Angola imposes ivory ban

White Sands near Popa Falls

Etosha from Space

Oil Pipeline through Tanzania

George, the rhino, poachers get 30 years

Global Bird Day

US$48 million of python skins smuggled

Uganda’s President Museveni emerges victorious as election petition thrown out by Supreme Court

MUSEVENI NOW PLANS FOR SWEARING IN CEREMONY AS SUPREME COURT THROWS OUT PETITION

(Posted 31st March 2016)

The Supreme Court just now rendered its verdict over the Petition before it, where one of the losing candidates for President had challenged the election of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
While observing some logistical shortcomings and noting some non compliance vis a vis the Presidential Election Act in the February 18th General Election has the full nine member Supreme Court of Uganda however broadly dismissed the various challenges brought before them in the petition.
As a legal requirement, a decision had to be handed down by 31st of March and the Supreme Court, following several weeks of night shifts by the justices and law clerks, met the deadline when throwing out the petition.
Chief Justice Bart Katureebe read out the compressed judgement, saying more extensive reasons and explanations will be given in the full written verdict which should be available for the public soon.
Subsequently are President Museveni’s office and other bodies now preparing for the swearing in ceremony after which M7 as he is affectionately called by his supporters, will commence his – the current constitution age bars him from standing again in 2021 – final term of office.
It is congratulations to the winner, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and commiseration to the candidates which did not gain a majority of voters.
Let peace and tranquility prevail in Uganda, now that the land’s highest court has spoken and ruled and take the political debate to parliament where it belongs.
Uganda’s tourism industry had experienced a significant downturn of arrivals prior and after the elections, to a large part attributed to the thinly concealed threats of taking protests to the streets, a recipe to scare away much needed tourists and have them spend their tourist dollars elsewhere.
Uganda’s tourism stakeholders have shown immediate relief that the petition decision is now out and several have expressed their hope that the opposition will refrain from taking their grievances to the streets, renew their ‘Walk to Work‘ protests and withdraw calls not to go to work at all every Thursday.
In summary, the opposition taking their case to court is evidence that they, no matter individual utterings, have confidence in the legal system and the division of powers and that is the way forward. Leave the streets for traffic – which is bad enough as it is in Kampala – and find the right platform for political debate, all under the premise that everyone, every Ugandan, wants peace, stability and economic progress, no matter the party colours.

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