Greetings friends of A Rocha,
It is with great pleasure that l take on this noble task to serve alongside ARK and the team.
First I would like to thank the outgoing chair, Edwyn Kiptinness, who has headed the organization so steadily and faithfully since its inception. His commitment to ARK is legendary as was his ability to keep the Board and management heading in the same direction. ARK would not be where it is today without him. Shukran.
I am also incredibly grateful for the Board I have inherited, their quiet yet unstinting support and guidance of ARK over the years is truly remarkable.
My background, via a degree in marine and environmental biology, is in law, media, commerce and governance. I am married to lovely Daniela, we have two children Isla and Jude.
Every organization has a life cycle and I am priviledged to come on board, as Chair, as ARK transitions to its next age. I see enormous opportunity for ARK to play a bigger and more central role in Kenya’s and indeed the region’s conservation story.
Our planned Conservation Hub in Karen will be the first of its kind in Africa. The concept is to bring as many conservation and environmental bodies and individuals together under one roof. Sharing space, ideas, synergies, information and most importantly a desire to collectively work towards safeguarding and bettering African ecosystems, can only be a good thing. It will be a bold project but with the right partners it will fundamentally change the conservation narrative in the region, if not across the continent.
Our ASSETS eco-sponsorship programme has been now been tried and tested around the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest for 18 years and in terms of community based conservation it is almost unparalleled- communities getting real benefit from being active custodians of their own ecosystems. I would love to see this program rolled out across Kenya and the region.
On our scientific mandate my hope would be to see ARK take our avian expertise to other fauna and flora. For instance, ARK is uniquely placed to play a leading role in marine conservation on the Kenyan coast and again we need to expand the wonderful work that we are doing.
The sleeping elephant, for me, are the millions of Christians in Kenya (and beyond) who remain unaware of their biblical and God given mandate to take care of the environment. ARK needs to think afresh how we educate and harness this incredible resource.
We have not been great at telling our story nor raising funds for the remarkable work that we do and going forward this is an area we need to resource appropriately.
As we prayerfully move forward with these plans, inevitably the organization will have to balance maintaining our A Rocha DNA and family vibe with the need to be an effective, forward looking and professional entity- all of which are integral to our witness as a Christian organisation.
I am particularly conscious of the huge sacrifices that our staff, led so passionately by Colin Jackson, makes in following their calling and passion at ARK. This is something we should not take for granted and I know the board is very keen to improve the livelihoods of those who serve ARK so faithfully.
With this evolution of ARK will come changes and some tensions but far more importantly, amazing God sent opportunities to honor our part, as the created stewarding creation to the Creator’s glory.