By Kwendo Opanga
May I return to the grim topic of the poaching of the elephant and rhino, which I wrote about on May 12.
Four reasons account for this: one, a mother and son, both employees of the world-famous Amboseli Trust for Elephants (ATE), were arrested for what amounts to be smuggling, or trafficking in, ivory.
Two, Dr Achim Steiner, executive director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (Unep), weighed in on the matter with an important question: who is benefitting from the poaching of the twin endangered species? Three, British Prince William, who proposed to his wife at a game sanctuary in Kenya, is alarmed by the poaching menace.
Four, a reader, Mr Daniel Njaga of Menengai Holidays, wrote to me arguing that poaching is not about conservation but about national security. Njaga’s take is that poaching is closely tied to the rising tide of insecurity and, therefore, if Kenyans are not secure, then their wildlife will not be.
I agree with Mr Njaga which is why I argued that checking poaching must involve all Kenya’s security agencies. My take is that the security of our wildlife cannot be left to conservationists alone. That is also why I say the sentences handed down by Kenya’s courts to smugglers of, and traffickers in, ivory and rhino horns are insignificant. More....