The Ag. Director General of Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Mr. William K. Kiprono officially handed over to the Director, Nairobi based regional wildlife law enforcement agency, Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF), Mr. Bonaventure Ebayi, the CITES Secretary General’s Certificate of Commendation which was awarded to the organization in recognition of its regional collaborative efforts to take down an international criminal syndicate smuggling ivory from Africa and especially Kenya to China during an Operation code-named COBRAII carried out early this year.
Kenya had on behalf of LATF received the award presented at International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) event that took place as part of 65th Meeting of the CITES Standing Committee held in Geneva, Switzerland from 7th to 11th July 2014.
Mr. Kiprono congratulated the exemplary work done by LATF and encouraged the Director to forge forward and never to give up on the fight against illegal wildlife trade despite the many challenges. He reiterated the full commitment by the government of Kenya to the Lusaka Agreement and that he will ensure that full support is accorded to LATF to effectively execute its mandate.
Director LATF also took the opportunity to thank the government of Kenya for continued support to Lusaka Agreement and the Task Force. He congratulated KWS for having also been awarded the same certificate in recognition of her outstanding performance during COBRAII. He called upon Kenya to continue to stand firm on her strive to preventing elephant, rhinos and many other threatened wildlife species from extinction in Kenya and Africa at large as he renewed LATF’s commitment to support governments ’efforts to win the wildlife war for a noble cause in Africa and globally.