China Totally Against Wildlife Destruction
My appreciation also goes to EAWLS and MCF, for their invaluable partnership
I am very delighted to be joined by the distinguished guests present here today for this very important ceremony. The Embassy of China in Kenya will officially hand over another batch of anti-poaching equipment to four wildlife conservancies through the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) and the Mara Conservation Fund (MCF).
This humble donation will enhance the capacity of the four wildlife conservancies to provide security cover through targeted patrols in the northern rangelands and the Coast.
First of all, let me thank the Government of Kenya for its strong support towards this function. My appreciation also goes to EAWLS and MCF, for their invaluable partnership.
Three months ago, Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang visited the Ivory Burning Site Monument at the Nairobi National Park, together with H.E. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto.
During that visit, Premier Li addressed Chinese and foreign journalists and I quote: “The Chinese people love nature as well as peace. The Chinese side highly appreciates and respects the hard efforts and significant achievements in wildlife conservation made by the Kenyan government and people. China is strongly committed to protecting wildlife, and will spare no effort in combating poaching and ivory smuggling”.
This is another strong commitment, to Kenya, to Africa and to the world. Together with the achievements China has made, we are taking more and more resolute actions.
A number of policies have been adopted to promote ecological progress, and incorporate it into all aspects and the whole process of advancing economic, political, cultural, and social progress. A full range of rules and regulations were put in place with the Law on Protection of Wildlife being the centrepiece. To enforce strict compliance, offenders are liable life imprisonment.
In 2013, Chinese forestry and public security organs cracked down on more than 60 cases involving 100 offenders. In the process over 1,000 kilograms of ivory were confiscated. Last January, China destroyed 6.1 tonnes of confiscated ivory products, in effect demonstrating its consistent position to firmly oppose and combat illicit wildlife trade, including illegal ivory trade. Our robust controls have sent a powerful message to wildlife poachers, traffickers and illegal users of wildlife products that the Chinese government is totally against wildlife destruction.
China adheres to enhanced publicity and education as a way of deepening public understanding of illegal wildlife trade and in particular the illegal ivory trade. Forthwith, all Chinese nationals, upon their arrival in Kenya, will receive an automatic SMS message, alerting them of the importance of protecting wildlife. In January, my Embassy and State Forestry Administration of China held a workshop on wildlife protection in Nairobi to educate and inform the Chinese community against poaching and illegal trade of wildlife.
Thanks to the unremitting efforts, the Chinese people are responding positively and proactively to contribute to the well being of African wildlife. Several weeks ago, a group of young students from Tsinghua University of China, initiated a volunteer activity here in Kenya to advocate wildlife conservation and promote interaction in this regard with their counterparts in the University of Nairobi. These actions that serve as examples will, without any doubt increase in days to come.
Wildlife crimes are a cross-border menace. To combat wildlife crimes calls for international joint efforts where all stakeholders share the common responsibilities and objectives.