The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has donated $20 000 worth of equipment to fighting poaching in the country.
The equipment includes tents, binoculars, global positioning systems (GPS) and telescopes that will be used on wildlife patrols by four conservancies in Kenya. The donation was made through the East African Wildlife Society (EAWLS) and Mara Conservation Fund (MCF), according to Kenya’s Daily Standard.
“We highly appreciate the assistance so far accorded by the Chinese Government towards strengthening our efforts to combat the scourge that threatens to wipe out our national heritage,” said Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) Director William Kiprono.
The donation was made on 15 August by Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Liu Xianfa, who said the donation is part of the long-term commitment from Beijing to revitalize the war against poaching in Kenya, Xinhua reports.
“This donation will enhance the capacity of four wildlife conservancies to provide security cover through targeted patrols in the northern rangelands and the coast,” Liu said during the handing over ceremony.
In May Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Kenya and committed to reducing African wildlife poaching. He said during a China-Africa joint research centre will be established in Nairobi to strengthen war against poaching.
Kenya has increased efforts to combat wildlife poaching and in April this year recruited 566 new rangers – another 800 will be recruited by the end of October, reports Standard Media.
Several days after the equipment was donated by China, a study was published that revealed the scale of poaching in Africa. Poachers killed 100 000 elephants across the continent between 2010 and 2012 mainly due to increased demand for ivory in China and other Asian countries.
The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, revealed that the proportion of elephant deaths by poaching increased from 25% of all elephant deaths a decade ago to 65% of all elephant deaths today, Fox News reports.
The highest death rate for elephants is in central Africa with Kenya and Tanzania following closely behind. For example, the elephant population of Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve declined from 40 000 to 13 000 over the last three years.