Recent report from Canadian and Dutch Governments says, “they have committed themselves to supporting Kenya in combating international wildlife trafficking”.
The Canadian government committed $2 million (Ksh160 million) emergency funding while the Dutch Government will support Kenya Wildlife Service activities at the Mombasa port, including provision of additional sniffer dogs, container scanners and capacity building.
Canada will build the capacity of Kenya Wildlife Service to combat international wildlife trafficking at source, thereby improving national security and stability in the rural and border areas by disrupting illicit networks involved in poaching and illegal trade of wildlife. Specifically, the money will be used in wildlife security enhancement, equipping the forensic laboratory and outreach, public awareness and education on poaching.
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird made the announcement at the just-ended London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade which ran from February 13 to 14.“Illegal wildlife trafficking is known to fund the drug trade, corruption and terrorist activities in Africa,” said Mr Baird. “Canada continues to make a positive contribution to this fight.”
In his address to the conference, Mr Baird recommended that the world take urgent and decisive action to deal with the current poaching crisis that threatens the survival of the African elephant and rhinoceros populations and has dire consequences for security, governance and the livelihoods of communities. Prof Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources led a high-powered Kenyan delegation that included KWS officials to the London conference. Illegal trade in wildlife has increased exponentially over the past five to seven years and affects international security, stability, governance and biodiversity. In curbing all these will increase Kenya tourists in Kenya.