NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
The UN Environment Program (UNEP) on
Thursday sounded alarm on the decline of African elephant
population occasioned by poaching and climatic stress.
Deputy Executive Director of UNEP Ibrahim Thiaw warned
that a shrinking population of elephants portends serious
threat to economies, livelihoods and ecosystems in the
While reacting to results of the Great Elephant Census
that indicated the population of giant mammals in Africa
had declined by 30 percent between 2007 to 2014, Thiaw
urged concerted efforts to reverse the grim scenario.
The findings of the census show that poaching is still
decimating elephant herds across Africa.
reveals that over 144,000 elephants were lost in the 15
African countries over a seven-year period mainly because
Thiaw said many African countries are grappling with
decline in elephant population hence the need for
collective action on the crisis.
UNEP has supported multilateral initiatives aimed at
combating threats to African elephants, including poaching
and shrinking habitat.
Thiaw said robust public private sector initiatives
launched in recent years to strengthen protection of
African elephants have started paying dividends.
added that African governments and local communities have
also recognized the need to strengthen protection of
elephants given their enormous economic and aesthetic
African governments urged
to do better job in fighting wildlife trafficking
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Conservationists have challenged African
policymakers to take more concrete and organized measures
to stamp out wildlife trafficking in a just ended African
conservation and tourism forum.
part of the solutions, the conservationists called on
regional countries to revise the existing law and pass a
wildlife law-specific statute, build and strengthen
education capacity of wildlife law enforcement, especially
during cadet training.
The recommendations were made at the conclusion of a
two-day meeting dubbed Kwita Izina Conversation on
Conservation 2016, in Kigali on Tuesday.
The event was held under the theme: “United in driving
economic growth through conservation.”
The meeting called on governments to recognize
conservation as a pillar or driver of the broader economic
agenda and incentivize conservation by creating a
“Inculcate accountability and transparency in the
management of wildlife, put in place stricter border and
customs control...develop coordinated and cooperative law
enforcement approaches,” the resolutions issued at the end
of the meeting said.
Michel Masozera, Country Program Director for Wildlife
Conservation Society, said, “We conserve to sustain.
Policies need to be translated into concrete actions or
else wildlife faces a risk of extinction.”
According to international police organization Interpol,
over 25 billion U.S. dollars per year is fetched out of
wildlife trafficking across the world.
Earlier, Jim Karani, a Legal Affairs Manager at Wildlife
Direct (Kenya) decried the fact that wildlife traffickers
seem more organized than policymakers.
attributed this to inactive laws, lack of transparency and
accountability in government institutions as well as
unsatisfactory social welfare of conservationists.
Rwanda’s Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana,
said challenges to combat wildlife trafficking lie within
the lack of political will.
“We face difficulties in gathering evidences and defining
actors involved in illegal trade of wildlife products,
because there are normally syndicates and it becomes
difficult for law enforcers and other actors to unmask the
whole network,” said Gasana.
Rhino horns, ivory, hides and skins of big cats and
reptiles are among the trafficked wildlife products.
Rwanda last month intercepted a total of 168 kg of
elephant tusks involving 14 suspects.
Kenya says China’s
diplomatic clout key to total ban on ivory trade
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
China’s diplomatic clout will re-energize
the push for a total ban on ivory trade during the
upcoming Convention on International Trade on Endangered
Species (CITES), Kenyan officials said on Monday.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources
Judi Wakhungu said Kenya is counting on China to back its
push for a total ban on ivory trade at the CITES meeting
to be held in Johannesburg from Sept. 24 to Oct. 5.
Kenya has developed fourteen proposals that call for
concerted efforts to protect rare flora and fauna from
extinction linked to human actions and climate shocks.
According to Wakhungu, Kenya will lobby the international
community to lift the status of African elephant from
Appendix two to one, given the grave threats facing the
coalition of 28 African elephant range states has
supported our proposal calling for renowned attention to
the dire plight of these mammals linked to poaching,” said
“The presidents of China and the United States last year
made a commitment to promote wildlife protection in
Africa. We are hopeful this gesture will inject fresh
impetus in the push for total ban on ivory trade in both
domestic and overseas markets,” Wakhungu said.
She added that the torching of 105 tonnes of elephant
tusks and 1.03 tonnes of rhino horns by President Uhuru
Kenyatta on April 30th this year reaffirmed
Kenya’s uncompromising stand against illegal trade in
Margaret Mwakima, principal secretary in the state
department of natural resources, said poaching in Kenya
has declined by 90 percent in the last two years thanks to
support from bilateral allies such as China.