By James Kariuki
Renowned wildlife conservationist Ian Craig has urged the government to intensify law enforcement efforts and invest heavily in protecting elephants and rhinos amidst the highest death toll in the past year.
He asked Kenya to hand stiffer jail sentences to discourage trade in ivory and rhino horns. This, he said, would deter the ongoing mass slaughter of the endangered wild animals.
“The solution to stopping the killing of elephant and rhino rest solely in reducing the end value of horn and ivory,” said Mr Craig in a statement.
The founding patron of the 62,000-acre Lewa Conservancy called on governments in Africa where the endangered species flourish as well as Asian and European markets where the trade in ivory and horns is booming to share information on poaching to curb the menace.
Lewa Conservancy board chairman Michael Joseph and chief executive Mike Watson said that concerted efforts by the government on policy and enforcement must be geared towards a no-nonsense approach towards poaching.
Mr Joseph called on African governments and people to declare a “total war” on poaching. Mr Watson said gains in conservation and successful fight against poaching could be achieved by looking for ways to include communities in protecting wildlife while ensuring they also see ‘tangible’ benefits from their efforts in conservation. More....