African ambassadors accredited to Kenya began a two-day retreat at the Tsavo National Park in the southwest of Kenya on Friday to assess the impact of poaching in the East African nation.
The retreat, organized by Kenya's Mission to the UN Office at Nairobi (UNON), is intended to increase awareness of poaching and its negative impact on the country and region's prosperity and heritage.
"The retreat is part of a program developed by the African Ambassadors where they travel regularly to different parts of Kenya and contribute to socio-economic projects," said a statement from Kenya's ministry of foreign affairs.
The retreat comes after conservationists have warned that poaching could eliminate elephants in the next 10 years unless measures are undertaken to curb this crisis.
Protecting Kenya's 38,000 elephant herd is both an ecological and economic imperative. Kenya has been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent days.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) estimates that more than eight tonnes of raw and worked ivory have been seized since 2009. The demand for ivory in the Far East has attracted criminal cartels to Kenya, who are feeding the insatiable demand.
Conservationists warn that unless the demand is extinguished, poachers will wipe out Africa's elephants. More....