Lonely Planet Writer

Giants Club summit seeks to bring an end to ivory trade in an effort to save elephants

Kenya is hosting the Giants Club summit today, an event that sees African leaders discuss how to bring an end Africa’s illegal ivory trade.

Ivory stockpile that President Kenyatta will be burning tomorrow
Ivory stockpile that President Kenyatta will be burning tomorrow Image by Screengrab Youtube

The summit is being presided over by Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta in an effort to bring an end to the killing of elephants for their tusks.

Kenya receives another hit on tourist trade. Image by Tiberio Frascari / CC BY-SA 2.0
Kenya receives another hit on tourist trade. Image by Tiberio Frascari / CC BY-SA 2.0 Image by Tiberio Frascari / CC BY-SA 2.0

The summit is made up of African leaders, scientists, conservationists, and business people who will be discussing how to save the African elephants from extinction.

Experts say the elephants could be extinct in a matter of decades.

Kenya cracks down on illegal ivory trade.
Kenya cracks down on illegal ivory trade. Image by Imagin Extra / CC BY 2.0

The Giants Club summit, which is being hosted in Nanyuki, will end with President Kenyatta burning 100 tonnes of ivory in a big bonfire. The 100 tonnes come from the 6700 elephants, the entire stock of confiscated ivory in Kenya.

In a statement published by Kenyan newspaper Daily Nation, Kenyatta wrote  that he was looking forward to the symbolic bonfire. “It will be a pleasure to burn it and do my part to destroy any possibility that poachers and their accomplices might benefit from the slaughter of Kenya’s elephants.”

The bonfire will be the largest of its kind that’s ever happened, and will deplete 5% of the world’s total amount of ivory.

Study reveals Grandmothers play an important role in elephant herds.
Image by Bruce Monroe

Kenyatta continues in the piece to talk about the damage that organised and well connected poachers are having on the elephant populations and thereby African tourism.

“Ivory means death; death for our elephants, our God-given heritage, and our tourism sector,” he wrote.

Researchers have been warning that Africa now has a 10th the elephant population it had a century ago, and that there’s a serious threat that elephants will become extinct in years to come.