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Top KWS officials honoured for services at CITES in Geneva

GENEVEA Switzerland -- Julius Maluki Mwandai, senior assistant director and head of investigations for KWS, and the late Julius Kariuki Kimani, former director of Parks and Reserves for the KWS, hav e won the prestigious Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at CITES in Geneva.

The award, presented only at CITES CoPs by the Animal Welfare Institute, honors individuals and organizations that have demonstrated excellence in combatting wildlife crime.
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 This year, CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero presided over the ceremony.

Mr. Mwandai is credited with transforming KWS’ paramilitary school into a distinguished regional wildlife law enforcement training institution, and demonstrating exemplary leadership in dramatically reducing rhino and elephant poaching in Kenya.

Mr. Kimani 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.

Also recognized with the Clark R. Bavin Wildlife Law Enforcement Award at the 18th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (CoP) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Geneva were Wildlife law enforcement champions from 10 countries

 

GENEVEA Switzerland -- Julius Maluki Mwandai, senior assistant director and head of investigations for KWS Nairobi.
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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 gangs.

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 in Kenya.

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.
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UPDATES:

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 said.
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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), he said..

"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 stockpiles.

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 countries.

"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," Balala said.

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.

             

 

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