On 30th April 2016, Kenya sent a bold and resounding statement to the world when it’s government destroyed the largest ever stockpile of ivory and rhino horn. 105 tonnes of elephant tusks and 1.3 tonnes of rhino horns were set ablaze, reaffirming the country’s commitment to protect its iconic wildlife species. It is said that the destroyed ivory stockpile was worth approximately 30 million US dollars on the black market.
The event held at the Nairobi National Park also served as a launchpad for Flowers and Conservation, a newly formed organisation that aims to rally stakeholders in the Kenyan Floriculture Industry in backing up wildlife conservation efforts.
Flowers and Conservation joins several other Kenyan organisations in what is being regarded to as building private sector capacity towards protecting the country’s natural resources.
The brainchild behind Flowers and Conservation, Mr Edward Manning, who is also MD of Royal De Ruiter East Africa says the idea is to offer ''A Kenya business solution to a Kenyan Wildlife problem'.
“We are basically forming partnerships between business commerce and conservation with a particular interest in Flowers. Many of our rose farms border conservation areas such as Timau, Naivasha and other parts of the country,” says Edward.
And adds, “Through this platform, we will endeavour to fund conservation efforts and also help enable other natural resource protection requirements from our own commerce. I would want to see a similar contribution such as in fair trade tariffs, that would help fund conservation activities.”
With the hashtag “#Worth more Alive', the goal of the mass destruction is to put the ivory beyond economic use, and to also demonstrate Kenya’s leadership in ending the poaching of rhinos and elephants; and the illegal trade in animal parts.
Edward Manning is the Managing Director of Royal De Ruiter East Africa, which is part of renowned Dutch based rose breeder and propagator, Royal De Ruiter.
CLICK HERE to learn more about #worthmorealive and how you too can participate in the fight against poaching and trade of wildlife products.