Kenyan policy makers and experts are rooting for the use of space technology to enhance wildlife and ecosystems management in the country.
A conference on Space Technology and Applications for Wildlife Management and Protecting Biodiversity is currently underway in Nairobi, and will mainly focus on the role of space technology and applications to strengthen protection of iconic wildlife species.
“For countries such as Kenya, this really has an impact on tourism because there is no such thing as a living elephant without its tusks. So inevitably, we talk about ivory we talk about red animals, So governments have chosen both nationally but also internationally to take action,” said Jacqueline McGlade, Chief Scientist of the United Nations Environmental Programme.
Multilateral institutions have supported prudent application of space science to help reinvent wildlife and ecosystems protection in the face of human and climate induced threats.
“The progress to date is quite amazing we’ve seen finally long standing commitments towards bringing as observation into practical actions, whether it is monitoring individual animals; just ringing out where they are or being able to track through crowd sourcing where particular illegal items are turning up in markets in forestry areas, in the street trade for example,” the UNEP Chief Scientist added.
A recent report from the UN and Interpol estimates that poaching is now worth about $7-23 billion, which is why satellite tracking is also being deployed to protect elephants and rhinos, using technology that alerts rangers to unusual behaviour of animals.
The four day conference, co-hosted by the United Nations Environment Programme is expected to end on Thursday.