President Uhuru Kenyatta to attend wildlife conference in London

By Ngari Gichuki

Nairobi, Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta will attend a conference on illegal wildlife trade on Thursday in London.

The President will join leaders from across the world to discuss more co-ordinated global response to eradicate illegal wildlife trade and protect the world’s iconic species from the threat of extinction.

In a meeting with journalists, British High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner said the President will be accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu.

“The Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) London conference will be held on Thursday, President Uhuru and his Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources will be in attendance to help in coming up with solutions on how best to eradicate this illegal trade,” said Turner.

Turner said the conference will be a major landmark in ridding the Sh846 billion industry of illegal trade that is not only threatening the existence of wildlife but also causing devastation of already vulnerable communities through corruption and undermining efforts to cut the cycle of poverty.

He said the conference aims at tackling the issue of IWT in Kenya by strengthening the law and the criminal justice system through funding and providing British army training in patrolling and intelligence-led anti-poaching operations of Kenya Wildlife Service.

Over 50 states have been invited to the conference. African states make up the bulk of those invited as they are home to some of the key endangered species. China and Vietnam will also be in attendance as they are the major destinations for poached animal products such as ivory and rhino horns.