Kenya Wildlife Service scientist to testify before US congress
Date Published: 09 Feb, 2010
Mr. Patrick Omondi, Senior Assistant Director and Head of Species and Conservation Management
Kenya’s campaign against trade in elephant ivory moved into top gear last evening when a Kenya Wildlife Service senior scientist left for Washington DC to testify about wildlife issues before a US Congress committee.
The testimony on Thursday February 11, 2010 at 2pm by Mr Patrick Omondi, the KWS Head of Species Conservation and Management, followed an invitation from the US House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources.
The House Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife will on Thursday afternoon hold the oversight hearing on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as part of the American government’s preparations for next month’s CITES meeting.
The hearing will focus on a wide range of proposals that will be considered at the March 13-25 CITES meeting in Doha, Qatar, including many proposals to amend Appendices I and II.
On January 22-28, 2010, Forestry and Wildlife Minister Dr. Noah Wekesa led a five-member delegation to Brussels, Belgium, to meet representatives of the European Union member countries. The purpose of the meeting was to seek the support of the 27 EU member parties to CITES for the African Elephant Coalition proposal on elephants.
The Coalition, co-chaired by Kenya and Mali, comprises 23 African elephant range countries that oppose trade in ivory. At the Brussels meeting, 18 members attended and engaged the EU to understand the coalition’s position for upholding the nine-year ivory trade moratorium as agreed at the 2007 CITES meeting in the Hague, Netherlands. The Coalition believes that the spirit of the CITES agreement has been violated by Tanzania and Zambia in their submission of a proposal to the forthcoming CITES meeting to be allowed to trade in 110 tonnes of ivory.
On the other hand, the proposal by the Coalition seeks to counter the Tanzanian and Zambian proposal and ensure that the nine-year ban remains in force and any discussions on ivory trade only be considered at COP 18 in 2019 at the earliest.
Kenya and Mali are continuing with consultations with foreign missions represented in Nairobi.