, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday called for a collective approach from all stakeholders in fighting the poaching menace in Kenya and the African continent.
President Kenyatta who spoke at the Nairobi National Park where he set ablaze 15 tons of ivory, said the government will burn all illegal ivory stockpiles in the course of the year.
“Today, I once again assure the international community that Kenya’s resolve preserve humanity’s shared heritage in wildlife. Our commitment to save our great species, especially the elephant and the rhino, remains as strong as ever,” he stated.
“At the international level, we are seeing great collaboration between various international institutions and agencies in combating illegal wildlife trade. I am proud of the work being done under the aegis of United Nations General Assembly Resolutions, CITES decisions. I also commend the interventions of international agencies such as Interpol, UN Office of Drugs and Crime, the World Customs Organisation and the regional Nairobi-based agency, Lusaka Agreement Task Force.”
President Kenyatta also led the country in celebrating the World Wildlife Day, African Environment Day and Wangari Maathai day.
The celebrations bring together Kenyans, the African Union, UN Agencies in Nairobi, International environmental organisations and Representatives of the Diplomatic to reflect on the splendid natural heritage and obligation to protect it for posterity.
President Kenyatta said the three-way commemoration represents the multilateral convergence and international consensus on environmental protection and conservation of biodiversity.
During the ceremony, the President specifically called for the banning of wildlife products in all emerging markets in the world.
“Twenty five years after the historic banning of ivory trade, new demand from the emerging markets once again threatens Africa’s elephants and rhinos. African countries are concerned about the scale and rate of the new threat to our endangered wildlife species,” he pointed out.
During the forum the late Prof Maathai was highly praised for her efforts to promote dialogue at regional and national levels as well as environmental issues.
“The decision by the AU in 2012 to recognize the life and work of the late Prof Wangari Maathai is an immense honour to her memory, and the people of Kenya,” President Kenyatta said.
Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judy Wakhungu assured that her ministry will continue working with all stakeholders in addressing environmental degradation and poaching challenges.