Daniel Rubenstein is a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University and Trustee of the Mpala Research Center, located in Laikipia, Kenya. The Center specializes in wildlife conservation, and works to improve human-wildlife coexistence. Professor Rubenstein comments on how development and conservation are often viewed in opposition, with development efforts seeking to improve livelihoods and conservation efforts focusing on preserving natural habitats and wildlife. He also speaks about some of the major environmental issues in Kenya, such as pollution, environmental degradation, and climate change. The effects of climate change in the region and decreasing rainfall on pastoralists and wildlife are still ambiguous. Conservation is particularly relevant to Kenya, as it is one of the only countries where there is still large game. The diverse wildlife and biodiversity encourages tourism and brings income to the country. Encouraging greater collaboration between development and conservation efforts is thus crucial to improving sustainable development in the region. Government agencies, scientists, NGOs, and civilians all have a role in promoting this collaboration. Efforts need to come from the bottom up as much as the top down, as informed and engaged community members can assist in promoting a functioning ecosystem that will simultaneously improve pastoral livelihoods.

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