Presidents, bigwigs expected at Friday elephant summit

April 28, 2016 12:57 pm
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President Uhuru Kenyatta will host the two leaders at the Mount Kenya Safari Club for the summit in Nanyuki and for the torching of 105 tonnes of ivory at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Lang’ata on Saturday/FILE
President Uhuru Kenyatta will host the two leaders at the Mount Kenya Safari Club for the summit in Nanyuki and for the torching of 105 tonnes of ivory at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Lang’ata on Saturday/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 28 – Presidents Ali Bongo of Gabon and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda are expected in the country ahead of Friday’s Giants Club Summit in a stand against poaching.

President Uhuru Kenyatta will host the two leaders at the Mount Kenya Safari Club for the summit in Nanyuki and for the torching of 105 tonnes of ivory at the Kenya Wildlife Service Headquarters in Lang’ata on Saturday.

United Nations bigwigs expected to be in attendance include the head of the United Nations Development Programme Helen Clark, the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme Ibrahim Thiaw and the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Wildlife and Forest Crime Programme Jorge Rios.

US President Barack Obama will be represented at the summit by his Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom and Chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Office of Law Enforcement William Woody.

Giants Club patron and owner of the British Evening Standard newspaper and Independent digital news platforms Evgeny Lebedev will also be in attendance with entrepreneurial giant Richard Branson expected to dial in.

The summit is intended to get policy-makers, those with financial muscle and conservation technicians in one room and on the same page with regard to the Africa’s remaining elephant population.

“We’re anticipating some pretty significant outcomes from the Summit. The focus will be on protecting elephants and stopping poaching, addressing problems of growing human populations living alongside hopefully growing elephant populations, and coming up with clever new ways to finance looking after elephants and their landscapes forever,” Space for Giants founder Max Graham explained.

READ: EXCLUSIVE: Meet the brains behind historic Giants Club Summit

Initially, the Presidency had announced that Hollywood celebrities Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman would be in attendance as would business moguls Michael Bloomberg and George Soros, even Elton John, but as of Thursday afternoon that no longer appeared to be the case.

READ: DiCaprio, Kidman to take conservationists role in Kenya this April

Philanthropists Jody Allen and Jochen Zeitz, President of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and former chairman of sportswear multinational Puma respectively, will also be in attendance for the summit which includes a gala dinner on Friday night.

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