NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
China’s ban of ivory trade in the
country is a major breakthrough in saving Kenya’s wildlife, a
senior government official said on Friday.
Wakhungu, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural
Resources observed that the bold decision is expected to help
improve Kenya’s foreign earning from wildlife as it will reduce
poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
"We welcome China’s decision and appealed to other countries
especially from the European Union and Britain to follow China’s
lead and permanently ban all external and domestic ivory trade
with legal domestic markets," Wakhungu said during the
celebrations of the World Wildlife Day which falls on Friday.
She noted that Kenya is ready to work with partners to help
close the market for ivory in an effort aimed at stopping the
killing of elephants.
"We must show care and compassion for the wildlife and we
welcome privately managed conservancies to help protect the 7
percent of animals that live outside the protected parks," she
The Director General of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Kitili
Mbathi said that poaching activity has reduced in Kenya in the
past three years.
"The fact that we lost only three rhinos last year is proof
that poachers are fast losing the battle against coordinated KWS
rangers," he added.
He said that the organization has redoubled efforts in
dealing with poachers and appealed to the citizens to report
individuals suspected to be collaborators with poachers.
Mbathi noted that wildlife conservationists are now resorting
to incorporating the voices of young people in helping
protecting the animals.
"Trade in ivory and other wildlife products is unacceptable
and must be banned globally," the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
Vice President Daudi Sumba said.
Sumba observed that wildlife population in Africa has been
hard hit by poaching in recent past and has to be reduced
The UN World Wildlife Day, which takes place globally on the
third of March each year, provides an opportunity to emphasize
the importance of protecting wild animals and plants.
This year’s theme "Listen to the Young Voices" highlights the
critical role of youth in wildlife conservation.