Seventeen African countries, including Kenya, have signed a document for the establishment of a coalition to save the elephant.

It was also agreed that a global elephant action plan that will fight illegal killing and trade in ivory be implemented. It also paved way for an elephant conservation fund to be known as the African Elephant Coalition, says Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Assistant Director for Biodiversity, Research and Planning, Mr Patrick Omondi. He said Mali, where the meeting was held, was elected chair of the coalition. Kenya is the co-chair. The member countries are from West, Central and Eastern Africa countries.

"The body will raise funds and seek donor funding that will help States with weak enforcement and anti-poaching abilities," Omondi told The Standard. Apart from Kenya and Mali, the other African elephant States are Niger, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Togo, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Central African Republic, Rwanda, Southern Sudan and Ethiopia.

The Malian Minister for Environment, Mr Agatham Alhassan, supported the accord. "With limited human and financial resources, we face not only climate change challenges, but also cruel methods poachers use to slaughter elephants and devastate their habitats, which have been considered safe havens in the past," the minister said.


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