Kenya unveils new action plan to revitalize war against wildlife crimes.



Date Published

NAIROBI, May 3 (Xinhua) — Kenya’s ministry of environment and natural resources and bilateral partners have finalized development of a new action plan to re-energize the war against illegal trade in wildlife products, officials said on Wednesday.

Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu said the new plan of action place emphasis on international cooperation, law enforcement, technology and public education to strengthen response to wildlife crimes.

“Kenya is implementing an ivory trade action plan to reduce poaching and ivory trafficking,” said Wakhungu.

The objective of the action plan is to enhance cooperation among states and non state agencies, bilateral partners and communities to ensure elephant poaching is considerably reduced, she added.

Wakhungu spoke at a forum on combating illegal trade in wild flora and fauna through cooperation under international law framework co-hosted by Kenyan and Chinese governments on the sidelines of the ongoing Asia Africa Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) forum.

Wakhungu said Kenya will strengthen bilateral cooperation with China to boost wildlife conservation amid threats like poaching, habitat loss and climatic stresses.

She lauded China for terminating processing and sale of ivory terming it a bold decision that will boost conservation of African elephants.

The East African nation has prioritized technology adoption and capacity building for law enforcement officers to strengthen action on wildlife crimes.

Wakhungu said installation of surveillance cameras at ports of entry has enhanced tracking and detection of elephant tusks and rhino horns trafficked illegally by criminal syndicates.

“Uptake of emerging technologies alongside programs to raise public awareness are a key priority to inject vigor in the war against poaching of big mammals,” said Wakhungu.

Kenya has rallied behind global efforts to ban ivory trade in order to save iconic mammals whose numbers have declined due to human actions and climatic vagaries.

Wakhungu said Kenya will not relent in its push for a total ban on trade in ivory and other wildlife products.

“The prevention and combating of wildlife crimes should be a primary concern of everyone since they are a threat to security and economic development,” Wakhungu remarked.