By Joseph Muraya
The United Kingdom has announced that plans are underway for the British Army to join forces with Kenyan anti-poaching groups late this month in an effort to crack down on wildlife crime.
The visiting British Secretary of State for the Environment, Owen Paterson says British Army Paratroopers will provide patrolling and field training to members of the Kenyan Wildlife Service, Kenyan Forestry Service and Mount Kenya Trust.
“Illegal poaching is having a devastating effect on some of the world’s most iconic species and we must work together to tackle it,” he said.
He said he intends to hold discussion with the government on the importance of a strong legal framework to punish and deter the perpetrators of poaching.
The government has lately intensified its fight against illegal trade of ivory by deploying at least 1,000 new rangers to boost capacity by KWS to execute their mandate effectively.
“By joining forces with those on the front line in Kenya, our armed services will be able to provide training and support to the courageous people who put their lives on the line every day to protect these animals,” he pointed out.
During his visit, Paterson will also discuss the importance of a strong legal framework to punish and deter the perpetrators of poaching and will highlight the work that the British High Commission, through its Criminal Justice Advisor, has been doing with the Office of Director of Prosecutions.
“It will be an honour to meet so many people who work so hard to conserve some of the world’s most iconic species for ourselves and our children,” he added. More....