Top officials of the global Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) have praised Kenya for drawing world attention on why trading in elephant trophies must be stopped in all the remaining markets especially in Europe and Japan.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Stop Ivory co-secretariat of the EPI John Stephenson said previous destruction of ivory stockpiles by Kenya had sent a strong message worldwide over the need to save the diminishing animals that form an important part of our natural heritage.
In 2016, Kenya reduced 105 tons of elephant ivory and 1.35 tons of rhino horn to smoldering ash—the final remains of some 6,500 elephants and 450 rhinos killed for their tusks and horns.
President Kenyatta said then the burn was meant to send a strong and clear statement to the world that “For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants.”
Stephenson spoke today Thursday when the EPI team paid a courtesy call on First Lady Margaret Kenyatta at State House, Nairobi.
The First Lady is passionate about the saving the jumbos and is the patron of the Hands Off Our elephants campaign.
Aims of EPI include providing both immediate and longer-term funding to implement the African Elephant Action Plan and closing all domestic ivory markets.
The organization also campaigns for a continued moratorium on any consideration of future international trade for a minimum of 10 years and thereafter until African elephant populations are no longer threatened.
The EPI team included Executive Director for Wildlife Trafficking and Conservation Keith Roberts and Senior Technical Advisor Wilfred Kiiru.
Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala who accompanied the EPI team to State House said Africa needs to have one strong voice to lobby against all markets in Europe and Japan where trade in ivory still thrives.