Kenya’s strong stand against trade in ivory is drawing global attention.
Top officials of the global Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) on Thursday said Kenya has done well in drawing world attention on why trading in elephant trophies must be stopped in all the remaining markets especially in Europe and Japan.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Stop Ivory co-secretariat of the EPI John Stephenson said previous destruction of ivory stockpiles by Kenya had sent a strong message worldwide over the need to save the diminishing animals that form an important part of our natural heritage.
He spoke when the EPI team paid a courtesy call on First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The First Lady is passionate about saving the jumbos and is the patron of the Hands Off Our elephants campaign.
Aims of EPI include providing both immediate and longer-term funding to implement the African Elephant Action Plan and closing all domestic ivory markets.
The organization also campaigns for a continued moratorium on any consideration of future international trade for a minimum of 10 years and thereafter until African elephant populations are no longer threatened.
The EPI team included Executive Director for Wildlife Trafficking and Conservation Keith Roberts and Senior Technical Advisor Wilfred Kiiru.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala, who accompanied the EPI team to State House, said Africa needs to have one strong voice to lobby against all markets in Europe and Japan where trade in ivory still thrives.
Later, the First Lady also met with top officials of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) who briefed her on the forthcoming global trav summit.
The WTTC is a membership organization representing over 160 CEOs, Presidents and chairs from the world’s largest travel brands across the world.
Aims of the WTTC include promoting awareness of travel and tourism’s economic contribution, expanding markets in harmony with the environment and reduce barriers to growth.
The WTTC team that met with the First Lady included its President and CEO Ms Guevara Manzo, International Liaison Manager Ms Eliza-Rose Dendle and Mr Javier Esteban Molina who were also accompanied by CS Balala.
The WTTC CEO said Kenya is among countries doing well in the growth of its tourism sector.
This year’s WTTC Global Summit will take place in Seville, Spain on April 3 to 4.
At another function at State House, the First Lady hosted her Madagascar counterpart Mialy Rajoelina who paid her a courtesy call.
They two First ladies discussed matters of mutual interest including women empowerment, health, unemployment, gender issues, conservation, family, conservation and agriculture.