Kenya has teamed up with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) in a unique initiative designed to lead to a breakthrough in the elephant poaching crisis the country is facing.
A statement of intent was signed on Monday in Nairobi between IFAW and the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) officially launching IFAW’s TenBoma project which aims to protect elephants by stopping poaching before it happens.
TenBoma seeks to protect elephants in the country’s national parks and surrounding areas to form a network to protect wildlife and communities from criminal poaching gangs.
Kenya is determined to protect our elephants we will do everything in our power to destroy the poaching networks and we are proud to be involved in this innovative pilot project, Judi Wakhungu, Cabinet Secretary, Kenya Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources.
This partnership makes innovative use of the most powerful weapon we have in this fight information, said Azzedine Downes, President and CEO of IFAW.
This first stage of the project will ensure that KWS rangers have the equipment and training they need to collect valuable data.
The next phase will integrate a collaborative geospatial monitoring platform to marry data collection with targeted analysis and dissemination of information to identify poaching associated indicators.
Targeted analysis of the information will be conducted to identify patterns in poaching related activities that enables KWS to intercept poachers prior to the elephants’ slaughter.
Earlier in the month, President Uhuru Kenyatta set ablaze 15 tonnes of elephant tusks in a move meant to fight ivory trade.
The years 2011, 2012 and 2013 witnessed the highest levels of poaching since a poaching crisis in the 1980s, according to KWS.
Poaching declined last year with 164 elephants and 35 rhinos killed, down from 302 elephants and 59 rhinos killed in 2013.