China, U.S. in joint efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade

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China and the U.S. announced on Thursday in Nairobi that they have agreed on joint efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade, especially as ivory was banned in the two countries.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell, reaffirmed that the two countries are working closely to ensure that the ban restricted the import of illegal ivory as hunting trophies mainly from Africa.
The secretary said the move has become imperative amid recent reports that the value of illegal raw ivory has been falling continuously, giving hopes that the wanton killing of Africa’s elephants may finally be reduced across their range.
She said his discussion with the Chinese Vice Premier, Wang Yang, towards ending the trade in the two countries was very constructive.
Jewell said at the final day of her five-day visit to Kenya that the Chinese, U.S. and Kenyan commitment was a step forward in reducing the illicit wildlife trade.
She recalled that late last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack Obama signed an agreement in Washington to end ivory trade following a visit by the Chinese leader.
The secretary said both the U.S. and China have now enacted a near-total ban on the interstate trade and commercial import of ivory.
Jewell said the American government has improved its intelligence gathering with the aim of arresting the syndicates in the business.
“Like in the case of drug trafficking, we are putting measures in place to help us know where the ivory is coming from and also arrest the kingpins in time.
Jewell, however, called on Kenya and other African countries to increase their efforts in reducing poachers by sharing information to avoid the demise of wildlife species.
The Kenya-based wildlife conservation organization, “Save the Elephants”, said last month that the Chinese government’s pledge to close down domestic ivory trade and growing awareness in the world about the impacts of buying ivory have already helped reduce the ivory price. (Xinhua/Naija247news)