By Gilbert Koech, Elizabeth Were
The UK government has announced grants to help tackle illegal wildlife trade. The Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Funds seeks to develop sustainable livelihoods for communities affected by illegal wildlife trade and to strengthen law enforcement and the role of the criminal justice system.
The funds will be used in efforts to reduce demand for wildlife products. So far 65 elephants and 18 rhinos have been killed in Kenya this year.
"Grants are available to governments, charities and NGOs, social enterprises and businesses, and to partnerships of these organisations. There is no minimum or maximum amount that projects can apply for," the UK government said in their official website.
The UK said that the expression of interest for applications under the Fund should be done by May 30. The budget for the Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund is about £4 million (Sh592 million).
The funding comes from the £10 million (Sh1.48 billion) announced in December 2013 for tackling illegal wildlife trade. The UK government said detailed guidance for the scheme will be published soon and the full application form by mid-June. It said project applications should be submitted by early August.
The successful projects will be announced from September and first payments made early next year. The UK said successful projects are likely to involve countries where poaching is a major problem, the national capacity to tackle it is low and poaching has strong links with poverty.