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Kenya: Tourism sector makes serious government demands to end poaching

Mr. Hersi produced a list of demands on behalf of the MCTA membership and tourism stakeholders, which cover a range of most urgent issues:

 

‘TOURISM SECTOR AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS STATEMENT ON THE STATE OF INCREASED POACHING IN OUR PARKS.


Protest note to the Government of Kenya.

 

“Our core attraction is under attack ”

Poaching right now is totally out of control. Our magnificent elephants in the Mara, Tsavo, Amboseli, Samburu, Meru and elsewhere, that attract hundreds of thousands of tourists, are being wiped out for a few thousand shillings paid to small-time crooks who do the killing while the big shots behind the ivory trade earn billions from illicit ivory. Rhinos are also being decimated at an alarming rate which cannot just be wished away.

 

The continued killing of our Elephants & Rhinos across the country is of great concern to us in the Tourism sector and wish to voice our discontent in the manner in which the whole is being handled.

 

In the Mara, over 90 of the big old bull elephants have been killed in recent months. Without the big old tuskers we lose a vital tourist attraction and there are no good breeding bulls left to improve the genetic diversity of the elephants. No serious effort to arrest and bring charges against those involved. Nobody convicted.

 

At present the sentences are ridiculous – someone in possession of ivory worth thousands of dollars is fined a couple of hundred dollars and released. Some work has been done by conservationists in identifying the various acts which could be used by the courts to enable much heavier sentences to be passed including stringent fines and prison terms. As well as taking legal action against the criminals the government must investigate how 4 rhino can be killed brazenly in a small park like Nakuru and how a family of elephants can be gunned down in Tsavo and the ivory just disappear after the killings had already been reported.

 

All the lodges across the national parks in Kenya will have to close down and all the tour vans and tour operators will no longer have anything tangible left for them to do. The consequences of losing our wildlife is too dire to comprehend.

The tourism industry condemns this senseless act of violence against our animals, hold the Government responsible and call upon the Government to take immediate steps towards stopping this cruel act.

 

Tourism is the second highest income earner in the Country contributing over 13% to the GDP. Our wildlife is a heritage we will not want to lose. The greatest attraction for visitors has been our wildlife and to date they are endangered with the numbers depleting at a very high rate. This will lead to a decrease in the income generation levels and the consequences are grave for the country. Wildlife and the big five have always been the greatest puller complimented by the beach experience. If we do not have wildlife and notably the Big Five then tourists will have no unique reason to insist on choosing Kenya. We will also cease to be the land of safari.

 

8 Point Demands:

 

1. We demand immediate response and action from the Minister of Wildlife and his PS who have both maintained silence despite these callous killings right under their noses. They are paid by tax payers money and they ought to wake up and do their work.


2. We demand the immediate arrest of the people concerned and charged accordingly. Media in Kenya has exposed on numerous occasions the people behind these trade yet no action is being taken against them. Huge stock are found at the port and to date no one has been charged .


3. We call upon the Government to set special task force within the Director of Public Prosecution’s office which should be charged with overseeing the compiling of evidence and prosecution of persons arrested so that they should be charged under the Economic crimes act which is in existing legislation which provides much heavier penalties for economic crimes and for persons benefiting from the proceeds of criminal acts against wildlife.


4. We demand heavier sentences to be passed including stringent fines and prison terms for those prosecuted, as well as taking legal action against the criminals.


5. We demand more funds and support to Kenya Wildlife Services who have so far done splendid job to police our parks. KWS have lost many rangers in the line of fire and they must be given superior arms to deal with these ruthless poachers who do not hesitate to kill.


6. We do not believe all is well at KWS since the departure of Dr Julius Kipngetich and we want an independent body to ascertain with immediate effect what could be ailing the KWS


7. We must insist on ivory ban on trade in the Far East as we only have about 30,000 elephants left in Kenya now and if 100,000 were killed during the last poaching crisis until 1989, all of these will be gone long before Vision 2030 arrives and tourist will not come here to see elephants in zoos – they can do that at home.


8. We call on our Government to seriously review our bilateral relations with China, Thailand and even Philippines who are all reluctant to stop ivory carvings and factories in their backyards. If these countries can hang drug dealers they should equally be made to mete the same punishment to Ivory smugglers and traders. Our message to the Far East please leave the rhino alone, its horn has
NO medicinal value nor is it an aphrodisiac.

 

Chairman
Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association
Signature………………………………………………….

Chairman
Kenya Associaton of Hotel Keepers (KAHC)
Signature………………………………………….

Chairperson
Kenya Association of Tour Operators (KATO)
Signature………………………………………

Kenya Wildlife Clubs of Kenya
Signature……………………………………………………

Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW)
Signature………………………………………………………..

 

http://wolfganghthome.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/kws-rocked-by-suspensions-and-a-transfer-wave-of-senior-staff/ ;

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Demands are good... cooperation of the "good guys" is better

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Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it?
Following the Animal Poaching Trail in Africa and the World
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What Exactly is Animal Poaching? | Nikela: Funding Wildlife Conservation & Education to Save Wildlife in Africa

What Exactly is Animal Poaching? | Nikela: Funding Wildlife Conservation & Education to Save Wildlife in Africa | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Part 2 in the Nikela Series on Animal Poaching, and what its doing to endangered species, rhino, leopards, and primates in South Africa.

 

The most comprehensive understanding of animal poaching and its impact on wildlife was found in Mike Cadman’s, “Consuming Wild Life...

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Botswana activists call on UN to address poaching

Participants at the just-ended Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference have called upon the UN General Assembly to address the illegal wildlife trade at its 69th
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China plays important role in global fight against illegal wildlife trade

As home to treasured species like giant panda, tiger and Tibetan antelope, China has a profound variety and abundance of wildlife, which makes wildlife protection an important work for the country.
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Poachers slaughter 30 elephants in DR Congo

Ivory-hungry poachers have killed 30 elephants in a Congolese national park in the past two weeks, park authorities said Monday, adding that the culprits were likely Sudanese militia.
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African Elephant Summit – Where to Next?

With the spotlight now on today’s conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade in Kasane, Botswana conservationists said while that Tuesday’s African Elephant Summit had shown significant progress by some countries, notably African countries to address the elephant crisis, there appeared to be glaring differences in the commitment by others to halt the killing of elephants and illegal ivory trade.

 

Yesterday, representatives from about 20 countries, gathered to take stock of pledges made by them in December 2013 to put in place urgent measures to save elephants from a crises that sees up to 50,000 elephants a year being poached for their ivory. During the meeting the IUCN said the African elephant population currently stood at 470,000 down from 550,000 in 2006....

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Tanzania: We Can't Afford to Lose the War Against Poachers

"The word 'ivory' rang in the air, was whispered and was sighed. You would think they were praying to it." - British writer Joseph Conrad in the novel Heart of Darkness, known for his nature and existence themes...

 

Tanzania, one of the world's last great repositories of elephants, has been described as the key battleground. Some 70,000 to 80,000 elephants roam the country's immense sanctuaries, amounting to perhaps a quarter of all African elephants....


Tourists come in their thousands each year to sample our rich wildlife heritage, bringing in the much-needed foreign exchange. We can't, therefore, afford to lose the war.

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Officials Return Illegally Trafficked Animals To Jungle

Officials Return Illegally Trafficked Animals To Jungle | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Colombian conservationists are now returning 149 illegally trafficked animals back into the wild. The animals include 13 mammals like wild cats and Capuchin monkeys, 53 birds, and 83 reptiles. The animals underwent 10 months of rehabilitation. The process of getting the animals ready to be re-released into the wild included surgery to heal skin and plumage. They were also checked for diseases, so that when they would not endanger or infect other members of their species.

Read more at Clapway: http://clapway.com/2015/03/20/illegally-trafficked-animals123/#ixzz3V2H1WVkA ;

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Botswana hosts wildlife summits as elephants fight for survival

Elephant population in the Tanzanian reserve of Selous dropped from 70 000 to 13 000.

 

Between 420,000 and 650,000 African elephants survive, but more than 100,000 have been killed in the past four years, according to a study published in the US Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

 

The African elephant is rated as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature index, while the Asian elephant is rated as “endangered” — a cause of serious concern....

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Another Billionaire Comes to the Defense of Africa's Elephants and Rhinos

Since its founding in 1998, the Wyss Foundation has been known for its conservation grants, but until recent years, the awards have primarily reflected founder Hansjörg Wyss’ personal experience in the American wilds....

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Colombia Rehabilitates And Releases 149 Trafficked Animals Into The Amazon

Colombia Rehabilitates And Releases 149 Trafficked Animals Into The Amazon | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Colombia released 149 trafficked animals back into the wild Amazon on Tuesday after seizing them from animal traffickers. Prior to returning to their natural habitats, the animals — 83 reptiles, 53 birds and 13 mammals including wild cats and Capuchin monkeys — were rehabilitated with some even having undergone surgery to recover skin and plumage, according to the Valle del Cauca department environmental authority.

Read more at: http://www.immortal.org/6510/colombia-releases-trafficked-animals-amazon/

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Undercover Pics of Baby Elephants Reveal the Trauma of Capture and Captivity

Undercover Pics of Baby Elephants Reveal the Trauma of Capture and Captivity | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Experts say the treatment these young elephants are receiving in Zimbabwe could cut short their lives by decades.
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Leading courier companies in China say “no” to wildlife smuggling

Leading courier companies in China say “no” to wildlife smuggling | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

BEIJING: Representatives of 17 leading courier companies operating in China have made a public declaration pledging their zero tolerance towards illegal wildlife trade.

 

The pledge is an important example of how the private sector can take effective measures in combating illegal wildlife trade.

 

The companies, who include EMS, DHL, FedEx, TNT and SF, account for 95% of the parcel courier market in China, according to the State-run Post Office....

Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Do you use a courier service in China?

These have supposedly said NO to wildlife smuggling...


EMS, DHL, FedEx, TNT and SF, who account for 95% of the parcel courier market.

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Illegal sand boa trade goes online

Illegal sand boa trade goes online | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Twenty-three-year-old Ramesh*, a young engineer from Visakhapatnam, was keen on starting an e-commerce venture. But, instead of approaching a bank for a loan, he opted for an unusual trade — selling sand boas online.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Please don't buy exotic pets!

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M'sia-US workshop on combating wildlife trafficking

Putra Jaya: Malaysia and the United States (US) will co-host the three-day Asean Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Combating Wildlife Trafficking, beginning March 30 in Tuaran.
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Under Secretary Novelli Travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia

Under Secretary Novelli Travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Under Secretary Novelli Travel to Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia...

 

She will launch the bilateral Wildlife Trafficking Action Plan at @america and later sit down with experts on oceans issues....

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A year after the president promised a national ivory ban, we're still waiting

A year after the president promised a national ivory ban, we're still waiting | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

An elephant is killed in Africa every 15 minutes, and since 2002, their population in central Africa has seen a 76 percent decline. 

 

In February 2014, President Obama announced plans to impose a complete ban on the commercial sale of ivory in the United States, part of an executive order against the illegal wildlife trade. Owning ivory would still be OK—assuming it was purchased legally in the first place—but selling the white stuff would be a big no-no, unless it’s a “bona fide antique” of more than 100 years old (a fact sellers would have to prove).

 

Restrictions on ivory imports took effect immediately, but regulations regarding sales within the United States have yet to be realized, due mostly to administrative delays. The National Rifle Association, however, has been busy fighting state bans and pushing Congress to weaken the proposed rules and roll back the ones already in place. NRDC (disclosure) is concerned that, when issued, the regulations may be weaker than promised. (NRDC advocates are calling attention to the delay by asking supporters to urge the White House to make good on its pledge.)...

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B.C. man gets 2.5 years for smuggling ivory, rhino horns

B.C. man gets 2.5 years for smuggling ivory, rhino horns | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

A Richmond, B.C. man has been sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison for smuggling rhinoceros horns, elephant ivory and coral from the United States to Canada.

 

In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Laura Taylor Swain ordered Xiao Ju Guan, aka "Tony Guan," 39, to forfeit wildlife items found during a search of his antiques business.

 

Guan was arrested in March 2014 for his role in smuggling and attempting to smuggle rhinoceros horns, as well as items carved from elephant ivory and coral, from auction houses throughout the United States to Canada....

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Ivory dealers busted thanks to German travellers

Ivory dealers busted thanks to German travellers | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
On Monday the 16th of March 2015, two German travellers, Martin and Christin Kotthoff, led to the arrest of two ivory dealers near Kasane, Botswana.
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TRAFFIC - Wildlife Trade News - Southeast Asia in illegal ivory trade spotlight

TRAFFIC - Wildlife Trade News - Southeast Asia in illegal ivory trade spotlight | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20th March 2015 – Ivory related news dominated headlines in Southeast Asia over recent days as authorities announced the arrest of major players, revealed seizure and prosecution figures and stopped at least one ivory consignment bound for the region.

In Bangkok yesterday, Thai authorities announced the arrest of a 51-year-old Malaysian and a 47-year Thai man in connection with a seizure of 135 kg of African Elephant ivory in Surin province on 31st December, 2014....

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Wildlife Crime Detectives Receive Training with Cutting Edge Software

Bangkok, Thailand, March 21, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The fight against criminal syndicates and wildlife trafficking
was recently propelled into the next generation at a high level
Special Investigations Group (SIG) training course held in Cebu,
Philippines, thanks to the launch of a cutting edge software
platform that enables mobile evidence collection and the
digitization of the SIG training material, while allowing data to
be shared instantaneously with law enforcement officials in the
field.
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Ethiopian govt burn 6.1 tons of ivory to discourage poaching

Ethiopian govt burn 6.1 tons of ivory to discourage poaching | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Black smoke billowed into the air of the Ethiopian capital Friday as 6.1 tons of illegal elephant tusks, ivory trinkets, carvings and various forms of jewelry went up in flames on a wooden pyre. Government officials had started the blaze to discourage poaching and the ivory trade.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

All those elephants who died for these! May they rest in peace...

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High-end Laos resort serves up illegal wildlife for Chinese tourists

High-end Laos resort serves up illegal wildlife for Chinese tourists | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Jeremy Hance: Shocking undercover investigation finds restaurants offering live bear cubs ‘to eat on request’ washed down with tiger bone wine in the ‘lawless playground’ of Laos’ Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Most alarming investigation results! 

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As price of illicit tusks and rhino horn trumps gold, Africa needs to go to war for its wildlife

As price of illicit tusks and rhino horn trumps gold, Africa needs to go to war for its wildlife | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Wildlife is not just a source of pride for Africa, but it is also the backbone of tourism, an industry valued at $34bn and employs 8 million people.
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California: Ivory Ban Bill Advances In Sacramento

California: Ivory Ban Bill Advances In Sacramento | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
A bill that would ban sale of almost all products containing ivory and rhino horn in California passed a major hurdle today in the Assembly.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Good news!

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2 suspected traffickers caught with 35 hippo teeth!

Police have arrested two suspected traffickers in Kampala and recovered 35 hippo teeth and two buffalo horns.
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Sea Shepherd Launches Legal Division to Protect Sea Life

Sea Shepherd Launches Legal Division to Protect Sea Life | Wildlife Trafficking: Who Does it? Allows it? | Scoop.it
Sea Shepherd has started a legal division that will enforce, strengthen and create protective laws for marine environments.
Wildlife Margrit's insight:

Way to go!

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