The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has launched a campaign to protect elephants from poachers.
On Thursday, it released a 10-year plan that provides a roadmap for conservation and management of elephants in the country for the next 10 years.
Forestry and Wildlife minister Noah Wekesa told the launch ceremony that the increase in poaching and the level of organisation among illegal ivory traders were worrying.
“In the light of these worrying trends, we would be calling on the international community to support total ban in ivory trade in the coming Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites) and listing of African elephants on Appendix I of Cites,” Dr Wekesa said.
The minister noted that Kenya lost 278 elephants last year to poachers compared to 177 in 2010.
At the same time, more than eight tonnes of illegally acquired ivory were seized in Kenya over the last three years. “As the minister for Wildlife I have noted with great concern the magnitude of the escalating poaching and its effect on elephants,” he said.