In Summary
  • The petition is part of a campaign aimed at asking European countries to close down their ivory markets.
  • The EU is the world's major exporter of legal ivory and presides over a booming trade.

Kenya has boosted its war on ivory trade by signing a petition calling on the European Union (EU) to ban ivory trade and close markets.

In a ceremony held in Kasane, Botswana, Environment and Forestry CS Keriako Tobiko signed the petition on behalf President Uhuru Kenyatta, joining 32 other African countries who have signed the petition.

PETITION

Presidents Yoweri Museveni (Uganda) and Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon) also signed the petition.

The petition is part of a campaign aimed at asking European countries to close down their ivory markets.

China, Hong Kong and other key players have already announced ivory bans.

The petition, organised by citizens movement Avaaz, calls on EU Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella and EU heads of government to close Europe's domestic trade in ivory, end all ivory exports, and support efforts to ban the global ivory trade.

MAJOR EXPORTER

The EU is the world's major exporter of legal ivory and presides over a booming trade. It exported 1,258 tusks in 2014 and 2015 alone, more than the previous eight years combined.

The EU has since advised governments only to export worked ivory, rather than raw tusks, but this legal trade is thought to increase demand for and act as a cover for the illicit ivory trade, which is fuelling Africa's elephant poaching crisis.

POACHING

Botswana’s President Ian Khama added his name to a civil society petition organised by the global campaigning movement, which has already been signed by more than one million people around the world. Botswana has the highest population of elephants in Africa.

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