Saturday, May 26, 2018
PS Dr. Margaret Mwakima who led the Kenyan Government delegation gives her contributions at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife trade which is deliberating on best tactics to deal with Wildlife crimes for better Conservation

The Cabinet Secretary Prof. Judi Wakhungu has said that Kenya continues to play a very active role in combating illegal wildlife trade locally and internationally since 1980’s. She said that African elephants were listed in the Appendix I during the convention on International Trade in Endangered species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES), because in 1989, Kenya was key proponent for global ban in ivory trade. This led to the collapse of ivory prices globally and thus ended the crisis in the 80’s.

Wakhungu said that the promulgation of the wildlife conservation and management Act in 2014 has repealed and updated the previous legislations the wildlife conservation Act cap 376 laws of Kenya and has ushered in a more transformative legal regime in Kenya. The new law now provides mechanisms for active involvement by the Kenyan public in decision making processes through the use of national media, relevant consultative mechanism and public hearings.

CS said that Kenya feels great because prosecution of wildlife crimes has been boosted by use of legislation such as Anti-Money Laundering Act (2010), the Prevention of Organized Crimes Act (2011), the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act (2003) and the Prevention of Terrorism Act (2012).

“The minimum penalties under these laws is 15 years jail and seizure of property and bank accounts. This has contributed a lot to the decline in poaching and IWT in Kenya,” Wakhungu added.

She told the conference attendants that in ensuring that there is effective law enforcement capability, the wildlife protection unit in Kenya has been enhanced through the purchase of equipment, vehicles and other related security accessories. The Government has also established an inter-agency team to implement and coordinate national and local action and strategies.

The Government has also adopted community conservation approach by including the involvement of grass root people in making conservation a success. By involving community-oriented initiatives, the Government has increased the capacity of the sustainable livelihood opportunities such as nature based tourism.

The CS said the convening of the Hanoi conference on illegal wildlife Trade was timely as it came up almost to the recently concluded CITES COP 17 meeting in South Africa.

Prof. Judi Wakhungu’s speech was read by Principal Secretary Dr. Margaret Mwakima who represented her at the conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in Hanoi, Vietnam today.

Dr. Margaret Mwakima who is leading the Kenyan Government delegation in Hanoi, Vietnam, said that the Hanoi Conference provides a good opportunity in reflecting and reviewing commitments towards implementing the London Declaration and Kasane statement.

PS Mwakima said that in fulfillment of the London and Kansane Commitments, Kenya has taken lead role in the fight to eradicating the market for illegal wildlife trade. She also said that Kenya has been a leader in the implementation of the London Declaration Commitments and the Kasane Statement Commitments.

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