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Kenya, the giants club protecting elephants from poaching

The Giants Club met in Kenya to fight poaching, organising the largest burning of ivory in history. To save elephants from extinction.

Saving elephants from poaching and extinction means safeguarding the African ecosystem, the tourism industry and a crucial part of the continent’s common heritage. This is why the Giants Club has met in Nanyuki, Kenya. It is an exclusive group that brings together African heads of state, environmental NGOs, global business leaders and zoologists.

Ivory means death

“Ivory means death; death for our elephants, our God-given heritage, and our tourism sector,” according to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta. “Ivory also means illicit funding of terrorist activities in parts of the African continent. We all have to do everything within our power to stop poaching and trade in ivory”.

 

elephants botswana ivory
Elephants in the Mashatu Natural Reserve, Botswana. They are poached for their ivory © Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

 

Carrying out the largest destruction of its kind in history, over 100 tonnes of ivory were burnt at the end of the summit held on the 30th of April. The amount accounts for about one fifth of all ivory seized globally and is worth 100 million dollars on the market. The stockpile was composed of 6,700 elephant tusks and over 300 rhino horns.

 

Elephants could be extinct by 2025

If their mortality rate isn’t curbed, elephants could be completely extinct by 2025 according to experts. Of the elephant population roaming the planet a century ago, only 10 per cent now survive.  

 


According to the Kenya Wildlife Authority, about 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks each year by poachers who use evermore technological weapons. The dreadful fact is that the number of elephants dying for natural reasons plus those killed by poachers exceeds the reproduction rate of the species.

 

Together to stop the illegal ivory trade

The Giants Club was founded – among others – by Kenya, Gabon, Uganda and Botswana, which are home to over 50 per cent of Africa’s elephants. One of its main patrons is Evgeny Lebedev, the UK’s youngest editor, owner of The Independent and Evening Standard, and President of the NGO Space for Giants.

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