Kenya Launches New “Ivory Trade Is A Rip Off” Campaign To Help Save The Dwindling Population Of African Elephants Due To Poaching

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Continuing the effort to raise awareness and curb the illegal trade of ivory, Kenya recently launched a new wildlife conservation campaign dubbed “Ivory Trade is a Rip Off.”

The campaign calls for the listing of the African Elephant in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which includes species threatened with extinction at the Convention’s upcoming 18th Conference of the Parties (CoP18), following the dwindling numbers of elephants as a result of poaching.

The campaign is supported by 31 other African states under the African Elephant Coalition.

The launch, which took place at Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, was attended by the Director of UN Environment’s Regional Office for Africa, Juliette Biao, the country’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Najib Balala, and representatives from Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) and Kenya Airways.

“The Kenya Airport Authority was the first in Africa to sign the United Buckingham Palace Declaration, an international initiative that commits players in the international transport supply chain to collaborate in the fight against wildlife trafficking,” KAA’s Isaac Awuondo said in a statement. “We moved quickly to join in the fight against illegal wildlife trafficking out of the realization that a complex transnational supply chain was enabling this vice and it needed to be disrupted, if not eliminated.”

Through a partnership between KWS and KAA, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport is equipped with canine units trained to detect wildlife products in passenger baggage and cargo.

KAA has been at the forefront in its commitment to the fight against Illegal wildlife trafficking by enacting laws, developing policies and procedures, and training personnel to ensure that illegal wildlife products do not pass through airports.

As part of the new campaign, 400,000 limited-edition boarding passes have been produced with the message: “Trade of ivory is ripping Kenya apart.”

Kenya Airways and UN Environment have also jointly been raising awareness on the need for better and sustainable wildlife conservation by distributing a special children’s education pack to passengers. The pack contains a tote bag, a comic book, postcards, stickers and temporary tattoos relating to wildlife conservation and the illegal wildlife trade.

“Illegal trade in wildlife harms sustainable development in Africa,” said Director of the UN Environment’s Regional Office for Africa, Juliette Biao. “Together, we can reverse the trend and protect our wildlife.”

UN Environment supports African countries in their fight against the illegal trade in wildlife through raising awareness, enacting policies, as well as capacity building and support to local communities.

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