CITES recognises communities as active stakeholders in wildlife conservation
KWCA’s role as an official observer representing communities at the CITES CoP 18 conference, had its status elevated by the Kenyan government to make proposals on the importance of consultation and engagement of communities in CITES processes.
Among KWCA’s interventions which were recognised and adapted include; development of a CITES framework that mandates governments to ensure participation of communities in CITES processes as official observers; fair representation of parties in considering threatened species survival and not social economic impact on communities, and the adoption of globally recognised term of referring communities as Indigenous Peoples and Local communities (IPLC) in CITES processes. KWCA, Conservation Alliance of Kenya and KWCA’s regional association Amboseli Ecosystem Trust on behalf of Kenya were adopted as members of an inter-sessional working group whose mandate is to address effective means for parties (governments) to engage communities and include their voice in CITES processes strengthening Kenya’s community voice to the process. The Working group will be required to have meetings to address its terms of reference and report to the Standing Committee and CoP19.