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KQ plans to raise 870,000 USD yearly for wildlife protection

23 October 2013, 09:25

Nairobi - Kenya Airways in partnership with Born Free Foundation plans to raise 870,000 U. S. dollars annually for wildlife conservation in the country.

Kenya Airways Group CEO, Titus Naikuni, said Tuesday the campaign will see bags being circulated to all Kenya Airways flights for passengers to donate to wildlife conservation cause.

"Wildlife is not only part of our heritage in Kenya but also a key driver of the tourism industry, which is a major foreign exchange earner and creator of job opportunities," Naikuni said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

"For this reason, we all have a responsibility to support the conservation of wildlife. I would like to challenge guests on all our flights to give generously to this noble cause." Naikuni said.

The country has the fourth largest elephant population in the world, but poaching, environmental pressures and human activities have threatened the survival of this mammal.

The partnership comes in the wake of a surge in wildlife poaching across Africa with elephants and rhinos among the worst hit.

Concern is growing amongst conservationists that the endangered African elephant is currently grappling with what could be the worst crisis to ever hit them since 1989 when international commercial trade in ivory was prohibited.

Kenya has invested in state of the art technology to strengthen the fight against wildlife poaching. The introduction of scanners and sniffer dogs at border points, airports and seaports is expected to minimize smuggling of ivory and rhinoceros horns.

Naikuni said the funds raised from the campaign dubbed "Change Brings Change" will then be deployed to national parks and conservancies.

The initiative projects that up to 72,600 dollars could be raised every month, based on current passenger traffic handled by the airline, which translate into over 870,000 dollars every year.

- Xinhua


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