Thursday, May 24, 2012

Kenya Launches Global Campaign to Improve Wildlife Bill

Lion couple

It has been recently announced that Kenyan conservationists have launched a global campaign to urge the government to establish an emergency bill of the penalty section in the nation's Wildlife Bill to reduce the illegal trade of ivory. The group, known as Concerned Conservationists Kenya, is concerned over the continuous loss of keystone species such as the rhinoceros, the elephant, and the lion through the illegal trade believed to be conducted by criminal syndicates. The group is already filling an online petition via email, Facebook, and Twitter to get 1,000 signatures in order to petition Kenyan President H.E Mwai Kibaki to take action to guarantee that stiff penalties are enforced. The petition is being documented in support Minister of Forestry and Wildlife Dr. Noah Wekesa's request to President Kibaki. The petition is currently available on the Avaaz organization website, a global campaign network that has just registered 914 signers from around the world for the petition. The network's name, which means "voice" or "song" in many languages, has membership from different parts of the world and promises the values and views of the world's people create global decision making.
African bush elephant

In addition to that, it is also said that the petition was posted by Kisite Mpunguti Marine Park's warden Mark Kinyua to the Kenya Mammal Marine Network website. It stated that President Kibaki should address the issue immediately when there is time; not least that when Kenya will attend a CITES meeting in Thailand next March. It warned that failure to establish such penalties would not only result in Kenya loosing its greatest advantages, but also its credibility in the international conservation arena. The report also expressed concerns about Kenya being regarded as a failure in conservation efforts without setting up any legal preventive measures that will place the penalties in the bill if it becomes a law. It further added that the nation should not wait for international condemnation or Far Eastern consumers to change. Instead, the report called for mobilization of all available resources and conducting a nationwide joint approach that will prevent any illegal organization or individuals from operating the illegal trade.
A black rhinoceros in Masai Mara National Park

This article is not only a representation about an taking decisive action against poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, but also a reminder of how it is crucial to combat these ongoing threats that are exploiting our planet of its wildlife. I feel that this article is a wake-up call for the world to take a stand against poaching and the wildlife trade, and this can be done with a signature on the petition provided by the organization called Concerned Conservationists Kenya. The petition also clearly states of what would become of Kenya if it does not implement changes to its Wildlife Bill, which are to impose stricter penalties against such wildlife-related crimes. Without these changes, Kenya would not only loose its advantages but also its credibility in the field of international conservation. This, in turn, would heavily impact the nation's tourist industry in a way that majority of the key attractions would be lost to poaching. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary that Kenya must make an example by taking a tough stand against poaching and the wildlife trade. Furthermore, this article in my opinion is also an inspiration to those nations that are also deeply affected by poaching and the wildlife trade. A most recent example is the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has lost 5,000 elephants to poachers. The wildlife of our world is in a need of help, and let us pledge to do what we can to end this ongoing onslaught that is wiping our planet dry of its natural treasures.

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