During the first week of December 2013, ICCF Kenya had a productive week of network-building meetings in DC, represented by Hon. Joyce Emanikor, MP Turkana County, who is the newest Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Conservation Caucus – Kenya Chapter (PCC-K). Of principal importance was the briefing convened and hosted by Dr. Naoko Ishii, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, held at the World Bank. The audience at this briefing consisted of high-level staff at the World Bank, GEF, UNEP, U.S. Treasury and other relevant institutions. The guest speakers included Hon. Joyce Emanikor and Hon. Augusto Posada, co-chair of the Colombian Conservation Caucus (CCC) in the Colombian Congress.
Dr. Ishii convened this meeting for the purpose of acquainting the distinguished audience about the successful work of ICCF, in particular the value of the Parliamentary Caucus model, and to lay the groundwork for future support from the broader environment and development community. As pioneered in the US Congress, the caucus model brings together US and foreign policymakers, the business community, and civil society worldwide to proactively collaborate on international conservation initiatives. Conservation caucuses provide opportunities for legislators to cross party lines to identify and develop environmental legislation in collaboration with the private sector and NGOs. The representatives of the CCC and the PCC-K spoke about their experience building their fledgling caucuses and the utility they found in this model.
The Kenyan Conservation Caucus was credited as instrumental in the development of, and the parliamentary consensus around, the strong new Kenyan wildlife management bill, while in Colombia the Conservation Caucus has supported groundbreaking legislation on sustainability in agriculture and mineral extraction. Moving beyond national boundaries, ICCF’s Conservation Council of Nations (CCN) is also working to address the wildlife poaching crisis in Africa by bringing together lawmakers to lay the framework for the transboundary cooperation needed to fight this battle.
Hon. Emanikor’s visit also included meetings with US Congressional offices including a meeting with Congresswoman Karen Bass, Minority Leader for the Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations. They discussed the necessity of innovative solutions to curbing the demand for wildlife products, such as ivory and rhino horn, in order to thwart the poaching crisis. Hon. Emanikor also met with NGOs working in Kenya to plan for a fruitful year ahead.
Article courtesy of ICCF