EVERY year poachers kill more than 33,000 African elephants to supply the demand for ivory, primarily from Asian countries. In Kenya, as in most countries, wildlife is at risk because the laws that exist to ensure its safety are ineffective due to lack of funding, lack of enforcement, corruption, or a combination of all these.
Although, traditionally, Kenya has been an elephant protective nation, in recent years she has inadvertently become a central player in the atrocious global trade in illegal ivory. In 2013, Kenya was listed as one of the world’s most complicit countries in the illegal trade in ivory.
Existing challenges on the ground for Kenya, including inadequate funds for anti-poaching activities and border controls, have been compounded by the rapidly evolving international nature of wildlife crime cartels who, due to corruption, have been able to operate with impunity in ports, airports and at border posts and even manipulate law enforcement agencies.
In recognition of this crisis, in 2103 Wildlife Direct took a strategic decision to focus its efforts on combating the poaching and trafficking of ivory. In drawing up plans for the campaign Hands Off Our Elephants, we identified three ‘critical pathways’ towards securing the future of Kenya’s elephants and other wildlife:
1) Strengthening the rule of law by enacting new legislation, ensuring compliance, transparency and accountability for elephants, ivory and all stages of the judicial chain, and
2) Mobilizing public opinion, to win the hearts and minds of Kenyans in support of elephants and wildlife conservation 3) Working with communities to develop conservation strategies in the field that benefit humans and wildlife
These pathways form the three programmatic pillars of Hands Off Our Elephants. The achievements of the first two of these, WildlifeDirect’s Legal Programme and Outreach Programme, are described in this report. Our Community Programme was started up in 2015 with the aid of generous funding from UNDP and details of this exiting initiative will appear in future reports.
Overall 2014 was a year of exponential growth for WildlifeDirect. This is reflected in the financial report, which shows that the value of funding received almost doubled, compared with 2013.
However we recognize that the scale and complexity of wildlife crime transcends the capacities of individual conservation agencies, and even individual countries. The war on wildlife crime will not be won through piecemeal actions. Thus much of our effort in 2014 was devoted to building partnerships with international supporters, government agencies, the private sector, research institutes, and civil society organizations.
Building partnerships for wildlife is the final, cross-cutting ‘critical pathway’ that underpins all the work of Hands Off Our Elephants reported in the following pages.
WildlifeDirect Annual Report 2009
Early this year, we produced our 2009 annual report to share our progress with our partners, donors, and readers. This report is a celebration of our victories in a year that had great challenges especially in the fundraising front.
In 2009, we made progress in implementing our ambitious strategic plan to increase the number of blogs hosted at our site, and develop more interactive tools and increase online donations. We also trained several bloggers in the Albertine Rift region through funding from the MacArthur Foundation, won the Mongabey Award and achieved lots more. All this is reported in the Annual Report.
You can download your free copy here.