Preparations are underway in Kenya for the inaugural Giants Club conservation summit that will be hosted by the country’s president Uhuru Kenyatta.
The international wildlife summit will see several Heads of States, conservation experts, Hollywood figures among others being in attendance.
The event will work towards the goal of developing a more cohesive, continent-wide response to the poaching of elephants as well as rhinos and the trade in illegal-wildlife trophies.
We are going to burn every single piece of ivory that we can in our stocks, there will be some left because of court cases, but we will burn this ivory and it will be seen by the whole world.
Speaking to Reuters, Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Chairman, Richard Leakey said, “Basically there is a big market and where there is a big market that is illegal, people will find a way to supply it. So what we have to do is somehow persuade people who buy elephant ivory that doing so they are destroying the most valuable animals on our planet. Now, although we did stop the ivory trade almost completely in the early 90s it has come back again.”
The event which will be held on the 29 and 30 April was formed to fight the poaching crisis through leaders.
After the summit, the President will oversee the burning of 120 tonnes of ivory at Nairobi National Park on April 30.
“Kenya has now decided to do another demonstration of our absolute opposition to the market. We are going to burn every single piece of ivory that we can in our stocks, there will be some left because of court cases, but we will burn this ivory and it will be seen by the whole world,” said Leakey.
According to reports, the stockpile to be destroyed is worth an estimated 30 million US dollars on the black market.
The country banned ivory trade 25 years ago. Since then , the government has set fire to tonnes of ivory to discourage poaching and ivory trade. In 1989, Kenya symbolically burnt its ivory stockpile
According to wildlife conservationist group, Save the Elephants, 100,000 elephants were killed in Africa from 2010 to 2012.
Furthermore, over 30,000 elephants are poached in Africa annually due to high demand from Asia where they are sold for around 1,000 euros per kilogram.