Kenya Kindles Massive Ivory Hoard in Elephant Summit

By Staff Writer


May 01, 2016 11:35 PM EDT


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(Photo : TONY KARUMBA/AFP/Getty Images)
A Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) ranger stands guard next to illegal stockpile of elephant tusks and ivory figurines before their destruction, in the national park of Nairobion April 27, 2016. Kenya on April 30, 2016 will burn approximately 105 tonnes of confiscated ivory, almost all of the country’s total stockpile at an event attended by several African heads of state, conservation experts, high-profile philanthropists and celebrities which they hope will send a strong anti-poaching message. 


A hundred tons of ivory will be blazed in Kenya, an effort to show its commitment to save the declining elephant population in Africa.
African President Uhuru Kenyatta will set afire the first 11 large pyres in Nairobi National Park. The ivories confiscated constitute almost the entire stock seized by Kenya belonging to about 6,700 elephants are anticipated to burn for many days. However, some disagree with the effort, saying that it encourages poaching.

The idea of burning the confiscated ivory was urged by African leaders to put an end to the illegal ivory trade.  On Friday, President Kenyatta hosted the summit stating that the ivory trade meant death for tourism significantly for the elephants. African elephants are already endangered and within decades will become extinct, according to BBC News.


Elephants are pictured at the Ol Pejeta Sanctuary in Laikipia on April 28, 2016.

(Photo : SIMON MAINA/AFP/Getty Images) Elephants are pictured at the Ol Pejeta Sanctuary in Laikipia on April 28, 2016.


As stated by the President, Kenya is also enforcing a number of measures directed at fighting elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade in and out of the borders. One of the measures include the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act 2013, imposing severe penalties on crimes related to wildlife as well as the development and implementation of the Conservation and the Management Strategy for the Elephant in Kenya which covers 2012-2021 period.

As reported by The Star, other measures include an inventory of the national elephant ivory and rhino horn stockpile, which presently has a tally of 135, 784kg of elephant ivory and 1,519kg of rhino horns.
“I am particularly proud to be associated with an initiative that seeks to combat poaching by bringing together visionary leaders who will provide the political will, financial resources and technical capacity that is so urgently required to save Africa’s remaining elephants,” he said.
 Elephant population roaming Africa has declined from a maximum of 1.2 million in the 1970s to about 400,000 today.  Each year, more than 30,000 elephants were poached from 2010 to 2012 impending to eradicate them in some regions of the continent, VICE News reported.
Improved poachers prosecution have been called for by conservationists to cutting ivory demand and rhino horn abroad, which most ly comes from Asia.  Last year, U.S. and China which are two of the biggest ivory markets had announced plans of putting a ban on all ivory imports and exports.