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Anti-poaching campaign demands int'l efforts: KWS

22 October 2014, 08:20

Nairobi - Director of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) William K. Kiprono said on Tuesday countries of concern should work together as a team to protect wildlife, as the illegal wildlife trade has become an elaborate chain in terms of crime.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua at the KWS headquarter in Nairobi, Kiprono emphasized the importance of international collaboration in fighting poaching and illegal wildlife trade.

"Managing wildlife is not something you can say is simple. It's quite tough," Kiprono said.

"That's why we need everybody to come on board and ensure that we work together as a team, because what we are protecting is for the prosperity of this country and also the international community or the next generation," he added.

He stressed that the illegal wildlife trade is an organized crime, "because we have the poachers, the brokers, and the dealers. We also have people who are the financiers, exporters and of course, the consumers".

Kiprono pointed out that the Wildlifecrime now ranks among trafficking in drugs, arms and humanbeings in terms of profits. "So we can say it's something very serious and well organized. We must look at both sides, the supplier and the demand side of the business in terms of the wildlife crime."

Statistics show that the illegal wildlife trafficking is nearly a 20 billion U.S. dollars business per year.

"The people doing this are criminals. They are international criminals. They have no nationalities. They should be dealt with as such and that's why we work together," Kiprono said.

Also read: New law to curb poaching

He praised China's effort in fighting the illegal wildlife trade. "We were very happy when the Chinese Premier came here. He met with our President and agreed on a way forward and also engaged the Chinese Embassy in Kenya in talking terms we've been talking, meeting and supporting each other in many ways which is actually a positive direction."

Kiprono is optimistic about the development of the anti- poaching campaign in Kenya, as he said it moves in the right direction.

"If we compare it with last year, we have been at least able to sustain the situation. At least it's under control. We are seeing the figures coming down in terms of poaching due to the effort put by government."

KWS is a state corporation established in 1990 with the mandate to conserve and manage wildlife in Kenya, and to enforce related laws and regulations. Currently it manages about 8 percent of the total landmass of the East African country, which contains 22 National Parks, 28 National Reserves and 5 National Sanctuaries.

 - Xinhua

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