Kenya will be hosting a major global summit on illegal poaching this April .The country will also use the two-day event to set fire to its massive stockpile of ivory that has an estimated black market price of $270 million representing the death of around 4,000 elephants
. The ivory will include tusks seized from elephant poachers and from animals who died naturally.
Actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Nicole Kidman, business tycoons George Soros, Paul Allen, Howard Buffet (son of Warren Buffett) and Michael Bloomberg, conservation icon David Attenborough, British musician Elton John and basketball star Yao Ming are expected to attend the Elephant Protection Initiative held on April 29–April 30. Several heads of state and governments, including high-powered representatives of Western nations and China will also attend the summit.
Kenyan presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said
Kenya plans to use the occasion to torch as many as 120 tonnes of ivory, the largest stockpile of ivory ever destroyed by any country, as proof of our commitment to zero tolerance for poaching and illegal ivory trade. The fire will be eight times the size of any ivory stockpile destroyed so far.
The international trade in elephant ivory was banned by the Conference of the Parties to CITES in 1989. but one-off sales of old ivory stockpiles have since been permitted giving smugglers cover for their illegal ivory trade. It is estimated that more than 30,000 elephants are killed for their tusks every year across the globe.
Recently, The Sri Lankan government also
destroyed more than 350 elephant tusks in an attempt to show poachers that the island will not tolerate the violent trade.