By Abdi Rizak – The Star
• The campaign aims at curbing the illegal trade in Jumbo tusks that have seen an increase in the global market.
• Balala said Kenya is obligated to work with other parties in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
First lady Margaret Kenyatta and CS Najib Balal arrive at The Nairobi National Park for the official launch of the CITES awareness campaign.
The government on Wednesday launched the Stop Ivory trade campaign by CITES dubbed ‘Elephants and their ivory should NEVER be Ripped Apart. ‘
The campaign aims at curbing the illegal trade in Jumbo tusks that have seen an increase in the global market.
Balala said Kenya is obligated to work with other parties in the fight against illegal wildlife trade.
“Today, 32 African countries stand together against the trade of ivory and that will not relent until this trade comes to an end,” the CS said.
He also urged the European Union and Japan to close domestic ivory markets in their respective regions.
Her Excellency the First Lady Margaret Kenyatta launches the CITES Cop18 Awareness Campaign with a resounding call against reopening of Ivory Trade as well as to #StopTheIvoryTrade because Elephants and Ivory belong together.
First lady Margaret Kenyatta says human-wildlife conflict is a major threat and concern that needs a sustainable solution.
“The state is aware of the challenges facing the wildlife conservation sector in Kenya and is doing its best towards a sustainable solution,” she said.
The campaign was launched at the historic Ivory Burning site inside Nairobi National Park and was attended by Tourism and Wildlife CS Najib Balala, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, Tourism and Wildlife CAS Joseph Boinett and Safaricom Acting CEO Michael Joseph among other dignitaries.
The Kenya Wildlife Service said ivory trade is the biggest threat to elephant conservation and management across its ranges and Kenya has been on the forefront in fighting against this menace.
Kenya is currently the only country in Africa that hosts a digital database for all the wildlife species in Kenya and provides a platform for whistleblowing on wildlife poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
The campaign comes barely a day after police in collaboration with KWS officers in Kilifi county arrested two people who were nabbed with 35 pieces of ivory found buried underground.
The two were arrested in Rabai with the Elephant tusks weighing 183 kilogrammes estimated at Sh18 million.