First Lady Margaret Kenyatta has joined African presidents and British royals to advocate for the protection of elephants.
Speaking in London at an inaugural meeting of Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) chaired by President Ali Bongo of Gabon and addressed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi (Botswana) and Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge, the First Lady called on more African countries to support the initiative in its concerted efforts to safeguard African elephants.
Mrs Kenyatta, who is also the patron of the “Hands Off Our Elephants” initiative, a Kenyan anti-poaching campaign, said Kenya has since 2015 been a supportive member of EPI which has a current membership of 19 African countries.
“Kenya’s rich natural assets are extremely vital for our citizens’ livelihoods, economic growth and pursuit for sustainable development,” she said.
The First Lady, who is the leader of the Kenyan delegation at the IWT London global conference, had earlier outlined two of Kenya’s eight pledges geared towards combating illegal wildlife trade.
“Kenya commits to strengthen law enforcement at key ports of entry and exit to check for any illegal trafficking of trophies through the country and apprehend any offenders perpetrating this crime,” the First Lady outlined.
She added: “Kenya is committed to enhance inter-agency cross border collaboration in illegal wildlife trade at all points of entry and exits for concerted efforts in fighting illegal trade in wildlife trophies.”
The First Lady informed the meeting that over the past four years, Kenya has witnessed remarkable milestones in conservation efforts.
“We have recorded a notable decline in poaching, largely due to adherence to internationa policy agreements to save the elephant,” she said.
She also assured of Kenya’s commitment to support the National Elephant Action Plans (NEAPs) platform to mobilise resources for the implementation of sound conservation efforts that would ensure local communities experience economic gain from wildlife conservation.