Release Date: 
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 - 20:30

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Natural Resources, Prof. Judi Wakhungu, will announce results of Kenya’s national inventory of elephant ivory and rhino horn stockpiles The function attended by Dr Richard Leakey, the Kenya Wildlife Service Board of Trustees chairman will be held tomorrow at 11.30 am at KWS headquarters in Nairobi. Prof Wakhungu officially launched the counting of elephant ivory and rhino horn on July 21, 2015 at the same venue. Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013 requires that Kenya Wildlife Service undertakes an audit every year of Government trophy stockpile held in the country and publishes the results of the audit. Besides, the CITES convention, to which Kenya is a state party, requires state parties to take certain action steps to properly manage ivory within their jurisdictions. The exercise involved taking an inventory of all ivory and rhino horn stockpiles in the country, including court exhibits and any other that might be held by other agencies by virtue of their legal mandate such as the judiciary, police, Customs, and wildlife conservancies among others. The inventory was being undertaken using digital technology that had been tested and successfully applied in other African elephant range States. KWS partnered with Stop Ivory, a UK-based NGO to support the exercise by offering technical and financial support. Members of the inventory teams were drawn from KWS and Stop Ivory with auxiliary support from university students. The exercise involved collection of elephant ivory and rhino horn samples, which will be used to create a DNA reference library for profiling the national populations of elephants and rhinos. The DNA library will be a central component in analysis of forensic evidence for use in prosecution of wildlife crime not only in Kenya but also in the region. The results will be published in the National Gazette in line with the Wildlife Act and will form the basis of future audits, national reporting and compliance with CITES requirement.