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Nairobi — A Kenyan government official on Tuesday appreciated China’s effort in protecting wild life, saying China’s trade ban on ivory will bring positive effects on elephant protection in East Africa.
Judi Wakhungu, cabinet secretary of Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, told Xinhua on the sidelines of the 60th anniversary event of the East African Wild Life Society (EAWLS) that cooperation with China in protecting wild life “has grown from strength to strength,” noting that China is very much involved in wild life protection, donating equipments and expertise.
“Most recently, we have seen the Chinese president announcing the trade ban of ivory, and that is going along with conserving wild life,” she said.
Dismissing criticisms that the construction of the Mombasa-Nairobi railway has damaged wild life protection, Wakhungu said that the project has taken wild life protection in consideration from scratch,
“For example, the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR is specially designed to accommodate animal passages culverts as well as bridges for animals. The SGR design also has a protective fence to animals out of harm’s way,” she said.
Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa echoed Wakhungu’s words, saying China pays great attention to cooperation in wildlife protection, such as assisting the law-enforcing outfits from both China and Kenya to destroy a huge ivory smuggling criminal gang, donating wildlife protection equipment and materials to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), and providing training opportunities to strengthen technology, cooperation and experience sharing in wild life protection.
EAWLS Executive Director Julius Kamau thanked China for its generous support, and said the organization will continue cooperation with China in wild life protection.
Established in 1961 through a merger of the Kenya and Tanzania Wildlife Societies (both formed in 1956), the EAWLS is a membership-based non-government organization that seeks to enhance the conservation and wise use of the environment and natural resources in East Africa for the benefit of current and future generations.