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Kenya: Support for Higher poaching penalties.

Kenya: Support for Higher poaching penalties.


Why this is important

We are rapidly losing major keystone species such as elephant and rhino to a trade facilitated by criminalized syndicates. Unfortunately the levels of international unrest and wider economic crisis have eclipsed the need for greater awareness and decisive action across the international stage. Only when these criminal networks have wiped out our elephants and rhino will the true catastrophe be realized, ecologically and economically.

We do not have the time however, to wait for international condemnation or for the consumers from an entire Far Eastern culture to change over night. Kenya, like many other African countries, needs to mobilize all available resources and coordinate a nationwide collaborative approach that denies any illegal organization or individuals the freedom to operate.

The rapid enactment and enforcement of laws that are applicable to the situation is critical, if Kenya does not increase the penalties for the poaching of such important species then it will not have a credible deterrent. Without a deterrent those same species that Kenya relies upon to promote the nation overseas for commercial reasons and as part of the national identity, will fall into extinction and be lost forever.

It is time for our leaders to use every thing in their power to provide the nation with a relevant form of legal protection. The law enforcement and wildlife agencies of Kenya have been so far denied the tools to achieve their mandate, the protection of one of the nations most important economic and national assets. Kenya requires a legal deterrent to protect itself from such economic damage.

We humbly request the President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Mwai Kibaki to address this issue immediately while there is still time. Not least that when Kenya attends the CITES CoP 16th meeting in Thailand next march the Kenyan team is not accused of not practicing what they preach in so much as Kenya is not taking the protection of its elephants and rhino seriously. We have no doubt that this will happen if we do not have a real legal deterrent. If we do not move now Kenya will not only lose its greatest assets but also all credibility across the international conservation arena, a place where we were once looked upon as world leaders.

We therefore appeal to the global and local community to add their names to a petition in support of the Hon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, in his request to the President of Kenya to move a motion through presidential decree increasing the penalties for poaching and assisting in the illegal wildlife trade with special relevance to elephants, rhino and lion species.

In support of our national wildlife authority KWS, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife and the many concerned citizens of Kenya we request that this decree is past with haste.

Posted May 16, 2012
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