The German Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety, Dr. Barbara Hendricks, will visit Kenya from 28th September to 1st October. The visit is part of a trip to three African countries on the occasion of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in South Africa.
A number of African countries had called for lifting the bans on trade in ivory and rhino horn. Both Germany and Kenya are against such relaxations. Prior to her departure, the Minister made it clear that such proposals had no chance whatsoever of being supported by Germany. "We are strongly in favour of upholding the current bans on trade in ivory and rhino horn. In light of the fact that poaching is out of control, any relaxation of the bans would send a completely wrong signal. We thus oppose the proposals submitted by Swaziland regarding rhino-horn trade, by Zimbabwe and Namibia concerning the resumption of ivory trade, and by South Africa regarding the introduction of a trade mechanism," Hendricks stated.
In Johannesburg, the Minister also handed over the world largest database on ivory to the Secretary General of CITES. The database was developed by a research project in Germany.
During her visit to Kenya, Minister Hendricks is going to have talks on 29th September with the Executive Directors of UN-HABITAT and UNEP in Nairobi.
On 30th September, the Federal Minister will attend the celebrations of the German National Day at the Ambassador’s Residence, and welcome the guests together with Mr. Charles Sunkuli, Principal Secretary of the State Department of Environment, who is the Kenyan Guest of Honour.
On Saturday, 1st October, Minister Hendricks will be visiting several projects in Amboseli National Park. The German Environment Ministry has been supporting the project “Elerai” in cooperation with the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF). The project aims at training community rangers and improving collaboration with the Tanzanian side. Since the beginning of the project, no elephant has been poached.
The Minister is also going to meet rangers of anti-poaching-brigades from local communities as well as representatives of the Elerai women’s group. In particular, the Minister wants to inform herself about ways how to adapt agricultural practices to climate change.