October 26, 2016

African leaders meet for Giants Club elephant summit

Kenya will incinerate all its confiscated ivory

African leaders are to meet in Kenya to discuss how to save the continent’s elephants from extinction.
The inaugural summit of the so-called Giants Club will be led by the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.
As well as heads of state, the conservation group will bring together business leaders and scientists.
Experts say Africa’s elephant population has fallen by 90% over the past century and warn that the animal could be extinct within decades.
Among those expected to attend the summit are Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni and President Ali Bongo from the west African nation of Gabon.
After the summit, Kenya will set fire to nearly its entire confiscated stock of ivory, 105 tonnes, equivalent to the tusks of more than 6,700 elephants.
The ivory has been piled into a dozen giant pyres, which will be lit by dignitaries at the summit.
The mass burning on Saturday will be seven times the size of any stockpile destruction so far, and represents about 5% of global ivory stores.
Some 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn will also be burned.
The street value of the ivory destroyed is estimated at more than $100 million (£70m), and the rhino horn at $80 million (£55m).
“We don’t believe there is any intrinsic value in ivory, and therefore we’re going to burn all our stockpiles and demonstrate to the world that ivory is only valuable on elephants,” said Kitili Mbathi, director general of the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS).
Africa is home to between 450,000 to 500,000 elephants, but more than 30,000 are killed every year for their tusks.

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