Update on Amboseli

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Oct 8th, 2005, 07:33 PM
  #1
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Update on Amboseli

The Kajiado council has told KWS to either pack up and go, or enter into a management contract to run the park on behalf of the council (Sunday Nation).

A reputable tour operator has told me that "all of the tour operators are up in arms and trying to stop this travesty of justice". "Since what they have done is against the law, an injunction is being sought. Amboseli is part of Kenya's heritage and the Maasai will undoubtedly destroy it". The tour operators are equally upset about Tanzania selling space for a 250 room hotel in the Serengeti.

From a friend living in Amboseli "it is so sad when you think what is going to happen to this beautiful land and lovely animals. We can't believe somebody can do what is being done without knowing what is going to happen later. Already the Maasai have started bringing cattle into the park from all directions, but KWS is trying to control them, so imagine if there is no-one to control the situation, what will happen. We are all so stressed and worried but hoping for the best".

What a situation! The Maasai are telling KWS to get out of the park, but the government hasn't yet told them they could do so. Very, very touchy situation that the President has brought on.

I'm glad my trip isn't between now and December. I wouldn't feel safe in the park. Hopefully after the vote is taken on the constitution in November this will peacefully get resolved.

Please all continue to hope and pray that clearer minds will prevail.

Jan

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Oct 9th, 2005, 03:29 AM
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hi jan, i forwarded all this stuff to my kenyan tour op this morn. see what kind of feed back i get.
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Oct 28th, 2005, 03:00 PM
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Hopeful news! A High Court yesterday suspended the transfer of Amboseli from a National Park to Reserve!! See

http://www.nationmedia.com/dailynati...1&newsid=60354

Another hearing will be held on November 15th. At least one judge is listening and agrees about the illegality of the move.

Another interesting article tonight is that Dr. Richard Leakey says KWS may collapse if Amboseli park is taken away from its control. KWS derived 22% of its income from Amboseli and "it will be only a matter of time before the parastatal collapses".
See

www.eastandard.net/hm_news/.php?articleid=31319.

This gets even more worrisome from the aspect of wildlife. If KWS collapses, between poaching (a huge shipment of ivory was just discovered in the Phillippines from Kenya), spearing, bushmeat trade there will be no wildlife left for us tourists to enjoy.

Please continue with the prayers and keep fingers crossed for 11-15-05.
Jan

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Oct 28th, 2005, 03:09 PM
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Thanks for the updates Jan. I can't even dare to guess how this mess will turn out.
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Oct 29th, 2005, 06:10 AM
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Thanks for the update Jan, and for keeping us informed of these unfortunate matters.

To add to your comments that this situation will leave "no wildlife left for us tourists to enjoy," it will leave nothing for Kenyans to profit from in in the future. Those animals can only be killed once and we tourists return again and again.
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Oct 29th, 2005, 05:49 PM
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atravelynn:

How right you are! When you stop and think of how many people you have met on safari who have helped make your trip so wonderful and then multiply it five or six times to include their wives/husbands/children one can soon realize how many people we are helping by our being there to observe the
country and wildlife. They benefit by their regular salaries and also the tips we pay them. Most of these people are so happy to have a job and to be able to meet people from other cultures and to learn things from the tourists. Without tourism most African countries would be in far worse shape than they are now.

Jan
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Nov 11th, 2005, 04:16 PM
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In addition to giving Amboseli National Park to the Maasai, President Kibaki has just promised 175 of Kenya's wildlife to Thailand for a zoo at Chang Mai!!! Please read more about this on

www.saveamboseli.net

Tuesday is the day that the Amboseli matter will be held in Court. Please everyone say a few more prayers and cross fingers that the judge will be able to give an open and honest decision.

Born Free Foundation has already had significant expenses with the Amboseli defense fund. It would be extremely nice if each and every one of you who has been to Amboseli sends a tax-deductible donation to help with this defense fund.

I just went to bornfreeusa.org, clicked on the donate by Paypal button and donated. You can then send an email to [email protected] and request that your donation go directly to Will Travers to assist in the defense fund.

Hope everyone will show how much they care about Africa and its wildlife and donate to this extremely worthy cause.

Jan
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Nov 24th, 2005, 05:34 AM
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As most of you know, the court hearing was today in Nairobi. Please check www.saveamboseli.net.

The judge said the hearing was not a hearing but a "mention". Another "mention" will be heard on November 30th. At that time the Attorney General would be summoned (he had failed to attend the previous gatherings).

"In the meantime, it is confirmed that the status of the National Park be maintained and that the Park continue to be professionally managed by KWS"

Born Free Foundation has already expended $20,000 in legal fees to help clear up any illegalities of the Amboseli change, and they have only raised $6,000 so far and need help.

Please folks, those of you who have enjoyed wildlife anywhere in Kenya, consider a contribution to this worthy cause. You may say, I've never been to Amboseli, why should I give? Well, if Kenya Wildlife Service has Amboseli taken away from them, they will likely go under as they derive a huge part of their operating budget from Amboseli. If KWS goes under, it will effect wildlife all over the country. Please won't you consider doing the right thing. If we can afford to spend thousands of dollars on a safari, we can send $100 or more for this most worthy cause.

Jan
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Nov 24th, 2005, 05:58 AM
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To make this even easier -- here is a link:
www.bornfree.org.uk/index.shtml

Thanks for the updates, Jan!
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Nov 24th, 2005, 07:02 AM
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Thank you JanGoss, thank you LadyOLeisure, thank you Born Free.

Donations are made in British pounds. I just sent mine.
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Nov 24th, 2005, 09:14 AM
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Thanks to all who are willing to help.

The Bornfreeusa website accepts donations in U.S. dollars.

I believe, though I am not an attorney, if you live in the U.S and donate to the U.S websites it is considered a tax-deductible donation. I know I have donated to foreign wildlife websites and it is not tax deductible. Any tax law experts out there?

Jan
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Feb 6th, 2006, 01:36 PM
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Dear Friends of Amboseli,

On the 8th February, the High Court in Nairobi will, once again, convene to
deliberate over the proposed downgrading of Amboseli National Park to a National
Reserve.

This is set against a complex and, in some respects, disturbing background:

The worst drought in a generation is affecting eastern and northern parts of
Kenya

Allegations of high level corruption have been widely circulated in both
national and international press.

The fall-out from the decision of the Kenyan people to reject the proposed new
Constitution has yet to be fully realized.

Set in this context some might think that the Amboseli situation is relatively
insignificant. However, the proposed downgrading remains, in our view, an
illegal act, despite renewed statements from the Office of the President that it
will be carried through. And the implications of the downgrading, should it
succeed, are profound.

Loss of income to Kenya Wildlife Service (in the order of 20% of annual
turnover)

Consequent lack of resources for KWS to protect other, less high-profile Parks.

Potential claims by other communities for National Parks to be downgraded and
given to Local Councils.

The possibility that in future land use issues in Amboseli will not be subject
to the same high level of scrutiny and approval as are needed for any land use
change associated with a National Park. An acceptance of the principle that the
Office of the President can bypass the law and make decisions by decree.

Like thousands of people, many of them Kenyan, who have written to
http://www.saveamboseli.net and who log on for the latest news, I am hopeful
that on the 8th we will hear some positive news that will secure Amboseli as a
National Park for future generations.

Please look out for another update after the 8th.

Thanks

Will
Born Free Foundation
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Feb 15th, 2006, 07:27 AM
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Latest:

Dear Friends,

At last some real news about the Amboseli case. This is the very latest from
Kenya.

The Mention at the High Court last week (it was the 7th not the 8th) simply set
a date for a further Mention which took place today, the 15th February.

The good news is that, at last, a hearing date has been set for 9th May.
However, it is still worrying that the Attorney General has still not submitted
the Ministerís affidavits. So even though there is a date for the hearing to
start, procedure makes it plain that all affidavits have to be signed and
submitted 7 days before the hearing date. If this doesn't happen, then the
hearing won't take place.

Of course we hope that all concerned will provide the High Court with all the
relevant materials according to the legal timetable and that this matter can be
properly considered.

Once again, thanks to everyone who continues to follow this saga and who has
supported this incredible effort.

May the 9th seems a long way off but time will race by and we remain cautiously
optimistic.


Good wishes
Will
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Feb 15th, 2006, 04:01 PM
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kavey:

Thanks for posting. I just got that email tonight.

Right now KWS is still running the park but their hands are really tied as to what they cann do. The Maasai themselves have stated that they are in no position to run the place. They are just hopeful of getting a bigger piece of the take.

With the government in such disarray now, cabinet ministers stepping down due to corruption, who knows what will happen before May. Keep fingers crossed please.

Jan
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