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Kenya to develop online permit to ease research on wildlife

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A lioness rests with her cubs at Ol Kinyei conservancy in Maasai Mara, Kenya, July 8, 2018. Kenya is in the process of developing online authorization permit to ease research on wildlife. Xinhua

NAIROBI (Xinhua) – Kenya is in the process of developing online authorisation permit to ease research on wildlife, an official said on Tuesday.

Patrick Omondi, acting director of biodiversity research and planning at Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), said that the process is being developed in collaboration with National Commission on Science and Technology Innovation and National Environmental Management Authority.

“We want to make it easier for researchers from outside Kenya to access the application forms and be able to undertake their research work in the country within a given period of time,” Mr Omondi said during a scientist conference on carnivore in Nairobi.

Mr Omondi however appealed to them to share their studies after undertaking their final analysis so that KWS could benefit from the study as well.

“We encourage transparent researchers and will do everything possible to help them but they must abide by the law,” he noted.

Mr Omondi cautioned foreign researchers against bringing with them interns and voluntary research assistants since Kenyan law does not allow it.

Mr Omondi revealed that Kenya is currently handling two cases where voluntary researchers who worked with a foreign scientist are claiming monetary payments from KWS for their role in research in national parks.

He said that KWS is in the process of diversifying priority research areas to avoid a situation where researchers only prefer conducting their study in one or two wildlife sanctuaries.

Robert Muasya, acting deputy director in charge of security at KWS, told the conference that the organisation burned over 1,000 skins of wildlife because the skins that had been kept for over 10 years are from dead and injured wildlife.

Mr Muasya noted that Kenya does not have taxidermy – the activity of cleaning, preserving, and filling the skins of dead animals with special material to make them look as if they are still alive for education purposes.

“We need to develop a policy in place to help conserve the skins since we do not trade in wildlife trophies and other products,” he said.

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