Published Date 9 July 2018
Author(s) Space for Giants
Full Paper: Analysis of Prosecutions of Ivory, Rhino Horn and Sandalwood Crime in North Central Kenya – A Case Study (opens in new window)
The global illegal wildlife trade is operated by transnational organised crime syndicates and valued at an estimated $7-10 billion annually. High profile ivory seizures and court cases indicate that it is prevalent in Kenya at varying scales.
North Central Kenya is one of the most critical wildlife refuges in East Africa. It is home to Kenya’s second largest African elephant (Loxodonta africana) population and the majority of Kenya’s black and white rhinos (Dicornis bicorni michaeli and Ceratotherium simum simum) that are considered high value targets for organised wildlife crime syndicates. The region holds the highest amount of wildlife outside protected areas in Kenya.
It therefore makes an excellent case study to understand the challenges of prosecutions of wildlife crime in Kenya. Incidents of illegal harvesting of East African Sandalwood (Osyris lanceolat), within the region have increased since 2016; therefore sandalwood cases were also included and analysed in this report. By focusing in depth on one particular region in Kenya and specifically assessing the state of prosecutions for these three high profile species involved in the multi-billion dollar illegal wildlife and forestry trade, lessons learned may be extrapolated, albeit cautiously, to a national level.
In highlighting the successes and ongoing challenges with the prosecution of ivory, rhino horn and sandalwood crimes, this report aims to inform stakeholders involved in the criminal trial process on the continuing challenges and possible solutions that fit in with Goal 2 of the National Wildlife Strategy 2018 – 2030, issued in June 2018 . This will enable ongoing investment in strategic interventions that will make the Criminal Justice Pathway6 an efficient and accountable deterrent in combatting wildlife crime in this region and beyond.