President Kenyatta Seeks Support For Total Ban On Ivory Trade

On May 26, 2016 In Latest News

President Uhuru Kenyatta today sought support from the international community for Kenya’s push for a total ban on trade in ivory. The President urged representatives of more than 170 countries gathered in Nairobi for the second session of the United Nations Environmental Assembly to support Kenya’s bid to conserve wildlife. President Kenyatta said Kenya will seek a total ban of trade in ivory during the 17th meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) set to be held in South Africa later this year. “We hope you can stand with us, as we seek to take this critical step to preserve the animals that contribute so much to our ecosystems and way of life,” said the President. He said he torched 105 tonnes of ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn on April 30, 2016 to demonstrate to the world that ivory is worthless, unless it is on an elephant. The Head of State spoke when he officially opened the UNEA 2016 at the United Nations Office at Nairobi. The President said Africa was the biggest stakeholder in environmental conservation and urged countries on the continent to prioritise environmental issues. “With so many of our countries dependent on agriculture or tourism, yet facing challenges of poverty and food security, Africa really has the most to lose through environmental degradation and climate change, and the most to gain by mitigating these challenges,” said the President. He informed the Assembly that Kenya has taken the necessary steps to secure a sustainable environment for a resilient world. “We have and continue to invest substantial amount of financial resources towards renewable energy. We are seeking to harness geothermal, the wind, water and, in the future, the sun—to power our country and the region,” said the President. President Kenyatta thanked the French Minister for Environment, Ms Segolene Royal, for the support France has given Kenya in supporting efforts to protect elephants. France imposed a ban of trade in ivory after Kenya’s decision to burn confiscated elephant tusks at a ceremony in Nairobi, which was attended by Ms Royal. President Kenyatta also bade farewell to outgoing UNEP boss Achim Steiner, whom he thanked for being a good friend of Kenya. The President also assured the incoming UNEP Executive Director, Erik Solheim, that Kenya will support him and will continue prioritising the environment. Kenya, like many other countries, has already signed the Protocol on Climate Change and has also adopted a Green Economy Strategy and Implementation Plan as a guideline for environmental sustainability efforts. The Government has also submitted its commitments to the United Nations Framework for Climate Change (UNFCC). The United Nations Environment Assembly is a global platform for the environment based in Nairobi. This year’s session is being attended by more than 1,700 delegates with a representation from 170 countries. The event is being attended by more than 120 Ministers of Environment and more than 20 heads of UN Agencies.

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