Kenya challenges African countries to support Elephant Protection Initiative


The Standard

Date Published

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Kenya is calling on more African countries to support the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) in its concerted efforts to safeguard African elephants. Speaking in London at the inaugural meeting of Elephant Protection Initiative, First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said the call would significantly help fight the illegal wildlife trade across the continent to ensure a sustainable ecosystem.

EPI is Africa’s indigenous response to the elephant poaching crisis on the continent. “Kenya’s rich natural assets are extremely vital for our citizens’ livelihoods, economic growth and pursuit for sustainable development,” First Lady Margaret Kenyatta said.

“We have committed to play a leading role in the global fight against illegal ivory trade,” she added. (I call upon more African countries to become signatories to EPI so that the illegal wildlife trade could be fought across the continent to ensure a sustainable ecosystem.”

The First Lady, as leader of the Kenyan delegation at the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) London global conference, had earlier outlined two of Kenya’s eight pledges geared towards combating illegal wildlife trade. “Kenya commits to strengthen law enforcement at key ports of entry and exit to check for any illegal trafficking of trophies through the country and apprehend any offenders perpetrating this crime,” she outlined.

She added: “Kenya is committed to enhance inter-agency cross border collaboration in illegal wildlife trade at all points of entry and exits for concerted efforts in fighting illegal trade in wildlife trophies.”

Emphasizing the need for a concerted effort to protect elephants, the First Lady said across the world, and throughout history, any change brought about by humanity has always been as a result of a collaborative process. 

“Brokering agreements between diverse stakeholders of similar conviction enables us to take a stand together in what we believe in,” she said. 
The First Lady also assured of Kenya’s commitment to support the National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) platform to mobilise resources for the implementation of sound conservation efforts that would ensure local communities experience economic gain from wildlife conservation.