REPORTS FROM THE
to speed up enactment
of wildlife law to curb poaching
wildlife enthusiasts have been banking on the
passage of the new Wildlife Bill 2011 to reduce the
rising cases of poaching in the East African nation
(Xinhua) -- The Kenyan government will lobby
Parliament to fast track a Wildlife Bill to make poaching an
economic crime, the country’s vice president said on
President William Ruto who held a meeting with the new Cabinet
Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources
Minister Judy Wakhungu and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) board,
said anyone found poaching should face severe punishment
including life imprisonment.
Wildlife Policy and Wildlife Bill 2012 which was approval by
the Cabinet last October will provide a comprehensive
institutional framework for managing wildlife, human wildlife
conflict, and compensation and ensures that wildlife is
beneficial to those who live with the wildlife.
Bill which is due to be debated in Parliament on Wednesday
establishes the Kenya Wildlife and Forestry Regulatory
Council, County Wildlife Conservation Committees, Wildlife
Conservation Fund and restructures the KWS to fit within the
new regulatory framework.
wildlife enthusiasts have been banking on the passage of the
new Wildlife Bill 2011 to reduce the rising cases of poaching
in the East African nation.
law proposes severe punishment for poachers and people-led
wildlife conservancy efforts. The proposed bill has also
recommended severe crime for poachers, since poaching will be
like an organized crime under the law.
the Tuesday’s meeting, Ruto said the management of the
wildlife agency to dismiss any employee found to be involved
in the menace or colluding with poachers.
followed complaints by the board that most poachers were given
free or leaner bonds of up to 240 U.S. dollars by courts.
KWS management said they had identified staff who were
involved in the poaching network. They also asked the
government to provide enough equipment for its anti-poaching
the proposed new law, offences relating to sport hunting will
attract fine no less than 23,500 dollars or imprisonment no
less than seven years, while other crimes carry a fine of at
least 5,800 dollars and imprisonment of no less than two
fines are severe than the existing average of 200 dollars
charged for various wildlife crimes.
have argued that lenient wildlife crime laws are attracting
poachers to traffic animal trophies through Kenyan, because
they know that even if they are arrested, the punishment is
KWS has expressed fears that the scenes of 1970s and 1980s
when poaching was a serious menace, and contributed to the
depletion of wildlife including elephants, lions and rhinos
are back, are threatening many years of conservation efforts
and animal populations that had started to balloon.
countries submit national action plans
to combat illegal trade in elephant ivory
(Xinhua) -- Eight countries submitted plans with
time frames and milestones to combat illegal trade in elephant
ivory, the secretariat of the Convention on International
Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, Tanzania
and Vietnam, identified as primary source, transit and import
countries affected by illegal trade in ivory, were requested
by the CITES Standing Committee last March to make the plans
as a response to the dramatic rise in the number of elephants
poached for their ivory.
plan specifies activities in the areas of legislation and
regulations, national and international enforcement, outreach
and public awareness, according to CITES spokesman Juan Carlos
said the eight countries were requested to take urgent
measures to put their plans into practice before July 2014,
when the CITES Standing Committee will review their
secretariat will work closely with the countries concerned in
monitoring their implementation, which may involve missions on
site, he said.
Standing Committee also identified two additional groups of
countries that need to adopt measures in the near future. The
first group, including Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, the
Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon,
Mozambique and Nigeria, will need to develop action plans this
trains community rangers
to help boost wildlife security
(Xinhua) -- The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said
Thursday it has trained 68 community rangers to help beef up
wildlife security efforts to curb rising incidents of poaching
across the East African nation.
Corporate Affairs Manager Paul Udoto said the community
rangers who have graduated at the KWS training school after
undergoing a three-month rigorous training will also help
protect tourists and prevent human wildlife conflict.
community rangers have for the last three months been
trained at the academy by KWS in basic paramilitary
procedures, management information systems (MIST), human
wildlife conflict, enterprise development models, marketing
of products and services, compensation claims and procedures
as well as the KWS organizational structure and operations
among other disciplines,” Udoto said.
training is meant to build capacity of landowners who host
wildlife on their land to actively engage in sustainable
wildlife conservation with the aim of realizing decent
livelihoods from sound environmental management,” he added
said the community rangers who selected from various
conservancies across the country will work closely with KWS
rangers to help in scaling up efforts to salvage the remaining
elephants in Kenya, 74 elephants having already been killed in
the first 3 months of 2013 alone.
wildlife agency has enhanced the round-the-clock surveillance
at all Kenya’s entry exit and entry points while sniffer
dogs and their handlers have proved incorruptible and have
once again outsmarted wildlife smugglers.
efforts last year resulted in notable recoveries of illegal
wildlife trophies and firearms, including 80 rifles, 2,777
rounds of ammunition and several magazines which have been
recovered since January last year.
wildlife agency also impounded 46 vehicles, 38 motorbikes, 46
bicycles and a hand drawn cart in various parts of the
country. In addition, 1,677 pieces of ivory weighing 4,644
kilograms were been recovered in 2012.
the same year, the KWS said seven rhino horns weighing 14
kilograms were also recovered. Other assorted crude weapons in
possession of poachers recovered include poisoned arrows,
bows, snares, axes, machetes, knives, spears, power saws and
East African nation says it’s at a point where it cannot
allow further poaching of wildlife because the animal numbers
have been reducing at an alarming rate.
said the focus of the community rangers’ training has been
on practical wildlife management strategies, basic
paramilitary training in order to standardize protocols of
management, command structures and reporting procedures in
Director William Kiprono who presided over the pass-out parade
challenged the recruits to use the skills they had acquired
during the three months intensive training to counter poaching
cases across the country.
warned that poachers have since gone hi-tech and are using
sophisticated weaponry to advance their tactics.
announced that the Service through the KWS board in
collaboration with the Kenya Police Service is in the process
of requesting for the issuance of firearms to the community
rangers in a bid to strengthen their capacity in handling
from training more community rangers, KWS intends to
undertake for the first time a conversion course for the
conservancy managers in the next financial year,” Kiprono
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