Kenya maintains fight against ivory trade

Seized ivory items are pictured in Dakar, Senegal August 23, 2017. Photo by Charlotte Houpline/WARA/EAGLE/Handout via REUTERS

Kenya has re-affirmed its commitment to the closure of all ivory trade markets globally. Kenyan first lady Margaret Kenyatta said the country will continue with its campaign against the reopening of markets for animal trophies especially ivory.

She spoke on Wednesday at the ivory burning site inside the Nairobi National Park where she presided over the official launch of the CITES CoP18 Awareness Campaign.

Mrs. Kenyatta said every time a proposal is made to partially reopen ivory trade markets, demand for the animal trophies shoots up thus increased poaching.

Further, the first lady added that Kenya is a host to the most exotic and diverse wildlife species in the world.

And that the country maintains a strong resolve to eradicate illegal wildlife trade by building coalitions and partners to strengthen joint actions to protect wildlife across the world.

The campaign is being supported by 31 other African states grouped under the African Elephant Coalition (AEC).

The first lady said Kenya has been petitioning the world for the total closure of all markets in animal trophies.

Kenya has on four occasions since 1989 torched huge stockpiles of ivory and rhino horns, the last such destruction was presided over by President Uhuru Kenyatta in 2016 where 105 tonnes of ivory and one ton of rhino horns were destroyed.

She said bold actions are needed at national, continental and international levels to protect the global population of elephants which has been on a decline from 1.2 million to below 400,000.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora-CITES and the Conference of Parties to the CITES- CoP18 global conference is scheduled for August in Geneva, Switzerland.


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