“The donation a shot in the arm for KWS’ Sustainable Monitoring Capabilities as part of the Lion Conservation Partnership”

Lion conservation efforts today received a major boost from ICEA LION Group with a donation of equipment worth Kes 1.7 Million towards continual monitoring of lions in the designated conservation areas across Kenya. The set of equipment comprises, among others, digital SLR cameras, data collection smart phones, satellite texters and trackers,  binoculars, fuel drums, call back equipment and laptops

-This initiative is part of the ICEA LION – KWS Partnership that began in 2014 via ICEA LION’s attendance at the annual Carnivore Conferences, culminating in the signing of the MoU in 2016.

– The population of lions in the wild has been noted to have decreased significantly throughout Africa and is currently at 20,000 with an estimated 2,489 being from Kenya. The lions’ official conservation status is ‘threatened and vulnerable’. Africa is synonymous with lions and people all over the world travel to Kenya to witness and experience our spectacular natural and wildlife wealth.

– Speaking at the handover ceremony at KWS, Dr. Caesar Mwangi, ICEA LION Insurance Holding’s CEO stated: “Protecting lions in the wild is an important part of securing our economic future as a nation. In line with our Corporate Mission “To Protect & Create Wealth”, we as an organisation strongly believe that our partnering with KWS and other world renown local conservationists ensures the future of our economy.”

–  Prior to this, ICEA LION funded the KWS and Conservation Partners Methodologies and Standardisation Workshop to the tune of Kes. 0.46 Million. The workshop was conceptualised to ensure that the census project team was effective in terms of time and investment. This was to be realized by optimizing the efforts of conservation partners as well as by standardizing the census methodology.

-Participants at the workshop ranged from KWS representatives from most of the eight conservation areas, Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT), Big Life Foundation, Mara Lion Project, Lion Guardians, Soysambu Conservancy, Born Free Foundation-Kenya, SORALO, Lewa Conservancy, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, WWF Kenya, Africa Wildlife Foundation, Action for Cheetahs in Kenya, Tsavo Trust, Ewaso Lions, Marwell and ICEA LION. A key outcome from the standardisation workshop, was that the originally planned eight census areas were reduced to five.

– Thereafter, ICEA LION funded the pilot census undertaken at Lake Nakuru National Park with Kes. 0.82 Million. The exercise further realised skills transfer and creation of job opportunities over and above testing and refining the efficacy of the aforementioned standardized census methodologies.

– Over and above the support of Kes 3 Million invested in Lion Conservation under the auspices of KWS, ICEA LION has supported Human Wildlife Conflict and other nature/environment related causes to the tune of Kes 15 Million, totaling Kes 18 Million. ICEA LION has partnered with Ewaso Lions and Lewa Wildlife Conservancy amongst others in support of nature/environment causes. This is a true testament of ICEA LION supporting sustainable initiatives and positively impacting the people, planet and profit.

– This donation comes just over a month since the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism & Wildlife launched the first ever nationwide animal census projected to cost the country Kes 250 Million over a period of 3 months.

– Speaking while receiving the equipment at the Kenya Wildlife Service headquarters in Nairobi, the Director, Strategy & Change, Mr. Edwin Wanyonyi said, “We are happy to receive this donation from ICEA LION Group today. Publicprivate partnerships like this are important in safeguarding our nation’s wealth. Our partnership with ICEA LION that began in 2016, has got another boost with this donation of census equipment that provides a sustainable way for KWS and our conservation partners to continually monitor our lion population even after the nationwide animal census.”

– ICEA LION’s Dr. Caesar Mwangi wrapped up the event by stating “When we fail to support conservation efforts, the harm befalls both the government and private sector indiscriminately. If we know the exact number and location of our wildlife, we will manage them better, create suitable conservation models and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Over and above the monitoring equipment
we have donated today, we are delighted that the Workshop and Pilot Census we previously financially supported have resulted in the valuable insights that informed the upcoming nationwide census.”

– ICEA LION’s financial and operational support has impacted the formulation and release of the National Recovery and Action Plan for Lion and Spotted Hyena in Kenya (2020-2030) which has updated the number of lions from approximately 2000 in 2014 to 2489 in 2021.