By WAN –
March 2, 2018
The First Lady of Kenya, Margaret Kenyatta, noted that one of the greatest challenges facing wildlife conservation was the sophistication of the methods used by wildlife traffickers around the world.
“These have impeded the gains we have made in breaking through this illegal industry,” the first lady said while speaking at the Kenya Airways Pride Centre at Embakasi in Nairobi yesterday. “We can no longer consider traditional or conservative solutions, we must look at new ways in this new age of technology and innovation.”
According to a statement posted on her office’s official Facebook page, the First Lady was also at the event to officially open an ‘awareness workshop on combating illegal wildlife trafficking’. The workshop was aimed at offering training to airport and airline staff on the perils of wildlife trafficking.
Acknowledging that wildlife conservation is becoming an increasingly prominent global issue, the First Lady stated that focused leadership, political goodwill, policies, and the imposition of bans have helped Kenya gain significant progress in combating the illegal wildlife trade.
Still, she emphasized the need for a collective approach that would harness the complementary capabilities of diverse sectors and groups, saying better intelligence and new methods must be applied because the pressure is building and countries continue to suffer huge losses.
“We must accelerate our efforts and increase our investments because our wildlife heritage and invaluable resource is under threat,” the First Lady said while noting that better and stronger networks must also be nurtured to seal the loopholes that have allowed the growth of the illegal trade.
“From my work in Hands Off Our Elephants, I have learned that wildlife populations of elephant, rhino, buffalo, giraffe, and zebra have been decreasing over the years due to illegal wildlife trafficking and trade,” she stated before expressing confidence that innovative measures including global transportation systems could help break the illegal chains of unlawful transport of endangered species. “We must ensure that we secure our heritage for our future and for our children’s future.”
Pledging her commitment to support all those who strive to secure the future of Kenya’s wildlife heritage, the First Lady commended Kenya Airways for being among the airlines that have signed the United for Wildlife International Transportation Taskforce, a declaration committing to zero tolerance against wildlife trade.
She appealed to other organizations and agencies to join the conservation effort by signing the declaration to halt illegal wildlife trading.
The U.S. Ambassador emphasized his government’s commitment to working closely with Kenya in tackling wildlife crimes.
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