Update on WWF review into the Kenyan Rhino translocation
WWF is devastated by the loss of the black rhinos following the translocation from Nairobi and Nakuru National Parks to Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) in June - July 2018. The project was intended to expand Kenya’s black rhino population as part of ongoing global efforts to ensure the survival of this iconic species.
As a donor to the KWS operation, WWF undertook an internal review by independent experts into our support of this project, our processes and, critically, the lessons learned from this failed operation. The purpose of our review was to provide an objective assessment of the role of WWF in the project. We are committed to ensuring that everyone involved in this translocation and the broader conservation community understands and can apply necessary lessons learnt from this operation as we work together on black rhino conservation in the future.
Whilst we are awaiting the publication of the Kenyan government’s own full report and recommendations in order to finalise our review, we have already begun to make improvements to the way we work on translocations.
Based on our learnings from this event we are committed to strengthening our own processes and procedures around:
- Improved due diligence and risk assessment processes both within WWF and with partners.
- Strengthened systems to ensure greater oversight of our implementing partners, including greater transparency and coordination throughout project implementation.
- Clearer project agreements including responsibilities between WWF and implementing partners.
Work is already well underway to progress these changes, including a revised project management system and technical network advisory committee to approve our involvement in future translocation projects.
Range expansion projects remain essential to securing a future for black rhinos, and WWF will continue working in Kenya and throughout Africa to secure a future for this incredible species.
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