Its mandate is to conserve and manage Kenya’s wildlife and its habitat in collaboration with stakeholders. It manages wildlife scientifically, responsively and professionally, encouraging staff creativity, learning and teamwork in partnership with communities and stakeholders.
The corporation plays an important role in protecting diversity. Four of the country’s five major water towers are under areas managed by KWS. About 70 per cent of the country’s energy needs are water-generated or hydro-dependent, mainly from the Seven Forks Dam, whose water sources are in the Aberdares and Mt Kenya national parks.
It is a State corporation established by an Act of Parliament (Cap 376). 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 due to population growth and changing land use habits of communities that co-exist with wildlife and wildlife crime.
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To tackle these issues, KWS employs a multi-pronged approach and strategies with interest groups, stakeholders and partners. KWS undertakes conservation and management of wildlife resources outside protected areas in collaboration with stakeholders.
The KWS community wildlife programme in collaboration with others encourages biodiversity conservation by communities living on land essential to wildlife — corridors and dispersal lands outside parks and reserves.