Kenya destroys ivory stock pile

Kenya destroys ivory stock pile
Tuesday, 3 March, 2015
Nairobi, Kenya

Kenya has today shown commitment to anti-poaching and wildlife trafficking initiatives by destroying 15 tonnes of ivory.

The ivory stock pile was set alight by His Excellency Uhuru Kenyatta President of the Republic of Kenya at the ‘ivory burning’ site within the Nairobi National Park, the same site where two of his predecessors – Hon. Mwai Kibaki and Hon. Daniel Moi before him destroyed 5 tonnes in 2011 and 12 tonnes in 1989 respectively. The burning of the 12 tonnes in 1989 captured media attention and helped lead to the international ivory trade ban in 1990.

“Kenya continues to show leadership to break the back of poaching. This is a very clear statement that ivory only has value on living elephants. By destroying this ivory stockpile, Kenya makes a massive contribution to the global movement that will ultimately end the trade in ivory,” stated Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW - www.ifaw.org.

The destruction of this ivory stock pile comes at a time when poaching of elephants to supply the illegal ivory trade has reached epidemic proportions. It is estimated that more than 35,000 elephants are killed every year across Africa. Worse still is that the seizures of illegal ivory on a global level continue to increase: 24.3 tonnes in 2011, 30 tonnes in 2012 and 41.5 tonnes in 2013.  Most illegal ivory is destined for Asia, in particular China, where it has soared in value as an investment vehicle and is coveted as “white gold”.

The destruction coincided with the commemoration of the second World Wildlife Day started by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the Wangari Maathai Day to honor the memory of the Nobel Peace Laureate and her contribution to conservation and, the marking of Africa Environment Day.

The illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated US$19-billion a year, ranking fourth on the list of the most lucrative illegal activities in the world behind drugs, counterfeiting and human trafficking. As part of a worldwide capacity building initiative IFAW trains law enforcement officers in wildlife trafficking prevention in several countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean.

About IFAW

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals, and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information, visit www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Photos are available at www.ifawimages.com.

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Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
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Céline Sissler-Bienvenu, Director, France and Francophone Africa
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Dr. Elsayed Ahmed Mohamed, Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa
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Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
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Country Representative, Germany
Tania McCrea-Steele, Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Project Lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime
Vivek Menon, Director of IFAW partner, Wildlife Trust of India
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