KWS enters collaboration to boost fight against wildlife crime (Kenya)


Claire Wanja, Kenya Broadcasting Corporation

Date Published

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Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has entered into collaboration with a leading authority in international criminal networks and the illegal wildlife trade to support its prosecution of wildlife offenders.

Julius Kimani, KWS’s Acting Director General, and Max Graham, Space for Giants’ CEO, Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) bringing the organisations’ legal experts together to increase the number of successful trials.

Shamini Jayanathan, Space for Giants’ Director of Wildlife Law and Justice, will support KWS team prosecuting poaching and illegal wildlife trade cases.

“While we have put in place policies, mechanisms and structures to deal with the menace of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and their products, our efforts will not succeed unless we join hands with stakeholders in tackling these challenges.  We all owe ourselves a duty to ensure that anything that threatens the well being of wildlife is confronted and defeated” said Mr. Kimani.

He added “KWS cannot on its own win this war, rather, our collective effort is the surest way to deal with perpetrators of wildlife crime. We have started witnessing the fruits of the new Wildlife Conservation and Management Act in confronting poaching of wildlife, especially rhino and elephants, hence stemming threats of the two species extinction”

The collaboration entered today at the Kenya wildlife Service Headquarters in Nairobi, sets out a series of steps that KWS and Space for Giants will strengthen prosecution efforts.

Kenya’s wildlife laws are now among the strictest in the world, with heavy minimum fines meted out to traffickers of elephant tusks, rhino horns, and other illegal wildlife parts. Prison terms for convicted wildlife criminals are also now among the world’s longest.

“Not only can KWS catch wildlife criminals but now they have the capacity to ensure those criminals are convicted under Kenya’s robust laws,” said Max Graham of Space for Giants.

“A ranger in the field should not have to experience the frustration of confronting a wildlife criminal they arrested a week earlier walking free again because of an acquittal. This is a critical step up in the battle against the illegal wildlife trade and I am honoured that Space for Giants is able, in some small way, to support Kenya in this battle under the Giants Club initiative.”