Kenya has burned the world’s largest stock of ivory. Tusks of more than 600 illegally hunted elephants were burned in Nairobi National Park to draw attention to poaching. The illegal ivory trade is linked to terrorism and is used to finance their weapons.
This has been the largest ivory burning in history in the fight against poaching. The event took place on Saturday, April 30, and was supported by various organizations.
The ceremony took place in the presence of the President of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta, who will work towards a total ban on the ivory trade, a practice that over time has led to the unjust killing of thousands of elephants for the sole purpose of making money.
Unfortunately, the future for elephants and rhinos in Africa is anything but certain. The burning included not only 105 tons of ivory from elephant tusks, but also 1.5 tons of rhino horns.
Between 2008 and 2013, 30,000 elephants have been killed each year in Africa, where the homicide rate has exceeded the birth rate.
Kenya decided to burn ivory for the first time in 1989, under President Daniel Arap Mi, as a sign of its willingness to protect its country’s elephant population. In the previous 15 years, the elephant population fell by 90%, from 168,000 to 15,000.
Now, the presidents of Kenya, Gabon, Uganda and Botswana will meet to discuss how to prevent the illegal killing of elephants and thus try to stop the ivory trade. It will be discussed at the next Convention on the Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to be held in Johannesburg in September 2016.