The second National Judicial Dialogue on Wildlife and Environment crimes is ongoing at the Nairobi Safari Park Hotel. The conference was this morning officially opened by Chief Justice Willy Mutunga. http://www.ktf.co.ke/news.asp?ID=86
In its second year, the conference is focusing on the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013 that was assented last year December, and its implications.
The conference comes at the time when the first suspect to be tried and convicted under the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013 was this week sentenced to pay a fine of Kshs20 million or serve seven years in prison for conviction of illegal possession &trafficking of an ivory tusk weighing 3.4 kgs at JKIA, in transit from Mozambique to China via Nairobi. This sentence has received widespread acclaim as its severity will act as deterrent for other would be offenders.
The stringent penalties for wildlife crimes as set in the new law download the Wildlife Conservation & Management Act 2013, heralds a welcome dawn in the fight against wildlife crimes, which in the past was hindered by lenient punishments, as evidenced in the manner in which suspects routinely accepted the charges in court as the sentences handed were not tough enough.
Stakeholders have welcomed the renewed engagement of the judiciary in fighting wildlife crime, illustrated in this conference organized by the Judiciary Training Institute and bringing together various organizations and government agencies involved in the fight against wildlife crimes in Kenya. Participants at the conference include the Chief Justice, Magistrates, KWS, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Kenyans United Against Poaching, Africa Network for Animal Welfare and other conservationists, KRA and Ministry of Environment. With all these efforts and strategies will boost Kenya safaris to a better level.