Kenya Wildlife Service has urged 32 newly-appointed ambassadors, high commissioners and heads of missions to help Kenya sustain advocacy on total ban on international ivory and rhino horn trade.
Ag. Director General William Kiprono asked the diplomats to help in demand reduction campaign on wildlife and wildlife products.
Ivory, rhino horns, reptiles, pangolins, and sandal wood are some of the wildlife and wildlife products being poached and trafficked for international black markets
While addressing their induction programme at KWS headquarters on Monday afternoon (October 6, 2014), Mr Kiprono asked them to use their diplomatic missions to lobby other countries to help reduce the demand for endangered species.
Africa range states have faced unprecedented poaching in recent past with 302 elephants and 59 rhino poached in year 2013 in Kenya alone. Since the beginning of the year, 116 elephants and 26 rhinos to poachers has been lost to poachers.
“In the last six months, however, we have turned the corner and the worst is behind us. We hope to keep the poaching cartels on the run and make them face the fullest extent of the law,” he said.
He said that the government is fully aware of the magnitude of wildlife crime and has mobilized resources locally and internationally to curb the vice. Besides poaching, he pointed habitat loss, human wildlife conflict due to growth in human population and climate change as other challenges facing wildlife conservation in the 21st century.
He urged the diplomats to use their missions to encourage international community to invest in conservation areas and assure tourists that Kenya’s national parks and the country are safe destinations.