The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Friday mobilized dozens of Kenyan entertainment and football stars to support the newly launched campaign against illegal trade in wildlife species across Africa dubbed “WildforLife”.

Speaking during a concert ahead of World Environment Day on Sunday, UNEP officials and Kenyan celebrities made a firm pledge to support the campaign against poaching of Africa’s giant mammals like rhinos and elephants.

Ibrahim Thiaw, the Deputy Executive Director of UNEP said the international community has re-activated the momentum towards ending illegal trade in wildlife species.

“Illegal trade in wildlife threatens biodiversity, peace, security and livelihoods hence the need to involve all partners to end this vice,” Thiaw remarked, adding that Kenyan celebrities will lead grassroots campaigns against wildlife crimes.

Celebrations for the 2016 World Environment Day (WED) whose theme is “Fight against illegal trade in wildlife” will be held in Angola on Sunday.

Thiaw said the choice of an African country to host the global event reaffirmed strong commitment by multilateral agencies to end wildlife crimes in the worlds second largest continent.

Statistics from UNEP indicates that 100,000 out of 500,000 African elephants were lost to poaching in a span of three years alone.

Thiaw said the just ended global environment assembly in Nairobi adopted a sweeping resolution to inject fresh vitality in the war against slaughter of giant mammals.

“We require collective efforts from source, transit and destination countries to stop the killing of iconic wildlife species,” said Thiaw

Kenyan songstress and UNEP Goodwill Ambassador, Suzanna Owiyo and a host of famous footballers will be part of the new UNs campaign against illegal wildlife trafficking.

The celebrities will use their star power to highlight the plight of African wildlife heritage to local, regional and global audience.

Owiyo in her remarks underscored the critical role of public education to ensure local communities become part and parcel of wildlife conservation

Source: Nam News Network