The Animal Welfare Institute presents the prestigious award to
individuals, organizations and agencies that have demonstrated
excellence in combatting wildlife crime.
"The importance of
efforts to combat wildlife crime cannot be understated," said
AWI President Cathy Liss.
"Those honored today for their superlative efforts, including
16 rangers who died in the line of duty, should be recognized
worldwide for their dedication to saving the unique biodiversity
of this planet from wildlife criminals who steal wildlife from
all of us."
Julius Kariuki Kimani (being honored posthumously),
former director of Parks and Reserves for the Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS), for his decades of service improving inter-agency
efforts to fight wildlife crime, raising awareness within
Kenya’s judiciary about the importance of wildlife protection,
and enhancing intelligence to identify wildlife criminals and
Kimani began his career as an assistant warden with the
Wildlife Conservation and Management Department in Kenya (the
predecessor of KWS) and rose through the ranks to become
director of parks and reserves.
He was pivotal in securing the integrity of parks and their
ecosystems in Kenya by improving industry governance and
strengthening law enforcement linkages to enhance conservation.
Julius Maluki Mwandai, senior assistant director and
head of investigations for the Kenya Wildlife Service, for
mentoring thousands of wildlife law enforcement officers in
Kenya and across Africa over several decades, transforming KWS’
paramilitary school into a distinguished regional wildlife law
enforcement training institution, and demonstrating exemplary
leadership in dramatically reducing rhino and elephant poaching
Elephant poaching numbers in the country decreased from 384
in 2012 to 40 in 2018, and rhino poaching numbers decreased from
30 to 4 during the same period. In addition, nearly 10,000
wildlife criminals were arrested.
Kenya calls for more
efforts to save African elephant
by Ronald Njoroge NAIROBI (Xinhua)
-- Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) on
Friday appealed to all African elephant range states to continue
seeking solutions that will ensure the survival of the
continent’s elephant for posterity.
This week saw the world stand for the survival of the giraffe
and the African elephant at the ongoing Convention on
International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Fauna and
Flora (CITES) in Geneva, Switzerland, the KWS said.
"Kenya sought to get protection status by listing all nine
giraffe subspecies in Appendix II and all elephants in Appendix
I and preventing any downlisting of elephants or reopening of
ivory trade," the KWS said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
"We were successful in all but the last of these endeavors,
thanks to overwhelming support" from the 32- member African
Elephant Coalition, the European Union, the United States, the
group of Latin America and Caribbean states and other
like-minded parties, the KWS said.
Participants at the 18th Conference of the Parties of the
CITES on Thursday voted in favor of listing the species for the
first time to protect it from unregulated trade.
According to conservationists, giraffe numbers have plummeted
dramatically, by up to 40 percent over the last 30 years, due to
threats including international trade in their parts, as well as
habitat loss, civil unrest and illegal hunting.
Giraffes are now listed in Appendix II to allow for trade
monitoring and population status.
No downlisting of elephants was allowed and no changes to
allow ivory trade was allowed at the CITES meeting.
The Appendix II listing was proposed by the Central African
Republic, Chad, Kenya, Mali, Niger and Senegal.
It was passed by 106 votes in support, with 21 votes against
and seven abstentions.
An earlier vote on limiting the protection to apply only to
sub-species outside of Southern Africa failed to achieve the
required number of votes to pass.
Despite the vote to save the giraffe, the KWS said,
challenges remain in improving livelihoods, law enforcement, and
closure of domestic ivory markets.
While giraffes fall prey to poaching for bushmeat, bones,
skin and tail hair, there is also a significant amount of
international trade in their bone carvings and trophies, it
Kenya says supports latest
CITES conference resolutions
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya said on Tuesday it supports resolutions
reached at the just concluded 18th Meeting of the Conference of
the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in
Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
Najib Balala, cabinet secretary for tourism and wildlife,
said delegates at the CITES took an unequivocal stand for
wildlife conservation and protection.
"The majority of the proposals in favor of species
conservation were adopted either by consensus or overwhelming
majority votes while those seeking to promote trade at the
expense of the species conservation were rejected," Balala told
journalists in Nairobi.
Delegates called on all parties to give attention to the
protection of African elephants and pancake tortoise, besides
regulating trade in giraffes, wedge fish and teat fish (Holothuria),
"Our proposal to transfer pancake tortoise from Appendix II
to I and to list giraffes, wedge fish and teat fish in Appendix
II was overwhelmingly passed," Balala said.
He noted that the conference, which was held in Palexpo
Centre, in Geneva, Switzerland, defeated a joint proposal by the
South African Development Community to trade in their ivory
Balala said the defeat was led by Kenya with support from
African Elephant Coalition, the European Union (EU), the U.S,
Latin American, Caribbean States and other like-minded
"The defeat means that the international trade bans in ivory
continue to remain in place," he said.
A joint proposal by Kenya and members of the African Elephant
Coalition to close ivory markets received general support of the
parties, Balala said.
Kenya supports the introduction of new rules requiring
countries that still have domestic ivory markets to report to
CITES on a regular basis and eventually leading to the closure
of the markets, he said.
"We are ready to support the agreement on the engagement of
rural communities in CITES processes and how issues of CITES and
livelihoods should be considered under the CITES framework,"
Kenya also supports the enhancement of law enforcement to
protect species such as the pangolin and cheetah, whose
populations continue to decline as a result of illegal wildlife
trade, he said.
Balala said Kenya will ensure that its obligations to CITES
conventions and other wildlife-related multilateral
environmental agreements are met.