Kenyan official hails China's ban on ivory carvings imports

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-3-1 18:49:35

China's one-year ban on imports of African ivory carvings will boost the fight against wildlife crimes in Kenya, a senior wildlife official said late Saturday.

Julius Cheptei, an assistant director at Kenya Wildlife Service, said China's decision to ban on imports of ivory carvings marked a significant milestone in the fight against poaching of elephants.

"The recent ban by the Chinese government is a strategic decision that will rejuvenate the fight against poaching in the country and the region. We have been inspired by China's global stewardship to stem wildlife crimes," Cheptei told Xinhua.

He spoke on Saturday evening at the United Nations offices in Nairobi during a major concert to sensitize the public on the value of protecting elephants.

The Chinese government on Thursday announced a one-year ban on imports of African ivory carvings in a bid to protect African elephants whose survival is at stake due to poaching and environmental pressures.

The wildlife official said that China has supported anti- poaching initiatives that have borne fruits.

"Sino-Kenya cooperation in wildlife protection is blossoming. Both the Chinese and Kenyan political leaders have agreed on the need to forge cooperation to strengthen the fight against poaching, " Cheptei said.

China has supported Kenya's wildlife agency with state-of-the- art equipment to enhance its capacity to combat poaching.

Cheptei said that the equipment donated by the Chinese Embassy in Kenya to the wildlife agency in August last year has contributed to a 50 percent reduction in elephant poaching.

"We are witnessing greater political commitment from China to help us eradicate poaching. Other bilateral partners should follow suit to end this menace," Cheptei remarked, adding China's import ban on ivory will revitalize global response to wildlife crimes across Sub-Saharan Africa.

Posted in: Africa

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