On April 13, over 4,000 people participated in the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos, Lions and Other Endangered Species in Nairobi, Kenya. Mara Elephant Project not only participated; we were one of the key sponsors for the event. Myself along with MEP rangers Moses Lekekwar and John Sakaja, Tracking Manager Wilson Sairowua, Finance Officer Stanley Misoka, Administrator Elvis Saayoi and Trustee Moses Kamau marched to represent MEP.
The MEP team ready to march on April 13.
Other marches were scheduled in over 130 countries to help raise awareness about the illegal trade in wildlife products that have pushed critical species, like elephants, to the brink of extinction. Locally, the march aims to create awareness about the importance of protecting Kenya’s wildlife by encouraging the message: No Market. No Trade. This is all pointing to the key conservation decisions being made in May at the CITES meeting in Sri Lanka. CITES is the global treaty that regulates wildlife trade and many of the key decisions that directly affect the elephant population are made at the World Wildlife Conference. Legal markets for ivory undermine MEP’s efforts of protecting elephants and with that in mind, MEP along with other conservation organizations, government and concerned citizens in Kenya call for the closing of all legal ivory markets around the world.
“The theme for the 2019 march is ‘No Market No Trade’ advocating for the closure of both domestic and international markets, and the ban on all trade whether legal or illegal in lion bones, pangolin scales, elephant ivory, rhino horn and trophy imports. The march calls upon governments, civil society, grassroot communities and all stakeholders to be proactive and collaborate in order to ensure the survival of elephants, rhinos and other endangered species.” Kenya Wildlife Service
MEP was proud to participate in the Global March alongside our partners Kenya Wildlife Service, Wildlife Direct and other conservation organizations. The crowd was energized and came up with many chants and slogans and the colorful 4,000 plus people definitely turned heads across the city center as the march proceeded the 10 km from the National Museums of Kenya to the KWS HQ. It was an amazing experience for MEP!