Kenya set ablaze 105 tons of ivory and 1.3 tons of rhino horns in a bid to send a strong message against poaching and illegal trade in these products.
In a clear and stern message, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta reaffirmed the country’s stand to save its recovering wildlife population by burning the ivory to reduce the economic value of the tusks, saying they are a national treasure better valued when attached on a live elephant.
He boldly addressed contentious voices that call for legalizing the trade and said Kenya will soon be forwarding its proposal to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) calling for a complete ban.
“This vice must come to an end and our elephants protected,” he said. “I know there are some who say Kenya should put its stockpile into the market and use the proceeds in development. I want to say that we have made our stand that ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants. Let the future generation judge us,” he said amidst applause from Gabon’s president Ali Bongo, John Scanlon, the Secretary General of CITES, Marie-Ségolène Royal, French minister of environment and president of Convention of Parties (COP) 21, among other dignitaries. Read more