NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya’s
wildlife agency on Friday launched a new partnership with local conservation
lobby, Space for Giants, to enhance speedy prosecution of criminals involved in
slaughter of iconic mammals for their trophies.
Wildlife Service (KWS) said the partnership will involve increasing the number
of highly skilled lawyers charged with prosecution of organized criminal gangs
involved in illegal trade in wildlife products.
Director General Julius Kimani hailed the new initiative to strengthen the
capacity of Para-legal officers to prosecute wildlife crimes.
have put in place policies, mechanisms and structures to deal with the menace of
poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products, our efforts will not succeed
unless we join hands with stakeholders in tackling these challenges,” Kimani
He added that
strategic collaboration with key partners in surveillance, prosecution and law
enforcement has led to a drastic reduction in wildlife crimes in Kenya.
collective effort is the surest way to deal with perpetrators of wildlife crime.
We have started witnessing the fruits of new wildlife act in confronting
poaching of rhinos and elephants,” said Kimani.
Under the new
partnership with Space for Giants, KWS will create a specialized prosecution
unit comprising 12 lawyers who will benefit from skills upgrade to enhance their
capacity to prosecute individuals accused of poaching.
Kimani said a
critical pool of highly trained prosecutors with a refined grasp of wildlife
laws is key to containing the menace of poaching that pose serious threat to
survival of giant mammals.
The Space for
Giants on its part will provide extensive training to KWS legal and forensic
experts in a bid to boost apprehension and prosecution of criminals involved in
illegal trafficking of wildlife products.
the CEO of Space for Giants, underscored the critical role of a well equipped
prosecution unit at KWS to reenergize war on poaching.
“A ranger in
the field should not have to experience the frustration of confronting a
wildlife criminal they arrested a week earlier walking free again because of a
failed prosecution. This is a critical step up in the battle against illegal
wildlife trade,” Graham said.