THE FIGHT AGAINST ELEPHANT POACHING ROLLS ON GLOBALLY
The recent concluded Giants Club Summit held at Mount Kenya Safari Club resort in the Nanyuki Area 100km from the city of Nairobi from 28th – 30th April 2016 saw the burning of 105 ivory tonnes and the Rhino horn by the President Uhuru Kenyatta. This was a remarkable move to the conservation of elephants which form considerable section of African safaris including safaris to Uganda.
The burnt stock is noted to be originating from two sources namely; the Illegal Rhino and ivory secured from traffickers and poachers and the clean trophies gathered from animals which succumbed to natural causes handed over by the public after the granting of amnesty. This destruction consensus is a collective input of the Giants Club leadership.
The Summit was arranged under the Umbrella of Giants Club and Space for Giants which brings together the Heads of African States, World Business leaders, International Celebrities along with Conservation groups like the Kenya-based Wildlife Direct, the Uganda Wildlife Authority, Save the Elephants of Kenya, Botswana’s Elephants without Borders, UNODC’s Wildlife and Crime Programme and Gabon’s National Parks Agency to champion the cause of preventing elephant poaching which is one of the major wildlife threats on the continent and in particular this member of the Big five group highly sought after on Africa travel including Uganda Safaris and tours.
The founding members of this initiative include; Uganda, Gabon, Kenya and Botswana established by the Space for Giants a conservation Charity in the year 2015 with the Patronage of Evgeny Lebedev a Russian Mogul based in the United Kingdom. The patron is alarmed by the rate of elephant loss that apparently stands at 35,000 per year in Africa since 2010 which definitely risks extinction.
The main objective of the club is to ensure that at least 10% of the African elephant is protected by the year 2020 through fighting poaching of ivory, ensuring co-operation in operations of African businesses and availing financial, political along with technical expertise. Issues like burning of stock piles is a remarkable move towards conservation and the signatories to the move are argued to destroy their stock piles.
The fight against elephant poaching is indeed going global. For example the nation of Cameroon on 3rd April 2016 burnt 2,000 trafficked ivory stockpile and over 1,753 of trafficked ivory products an event that was witnessed by the permanent Representative of US to the United Nations Ms. Samantha Powers.
It can be noted that the Convention on International trade in Endangered Species (CITES) put a ban on trade of elephant Ivory in the year 1989. However, one-off sales have been granted to some states to sell of lawful ivory gathered from Elephants that died of natural causes including South Africa, destination Zimbabwe along with Namibia in 1999, the year 2002 along with 2008 to the key ivory markets of China and Japan.
Poaching is recognized as a danger to wildlife tourism and to the economies that rely on it. The African countries get their foreign exchange from the world travelers most which travel to view wild game including those on wildlife safari tours in Uganda. Thus the destruction of these animals risks the continuity of such travel.