The Kenyan government has called for any wildlife trophies that have been held without a license to be brought forward for the torching of the largest ivory stockpile in the world. The Environmental Cabinet Secretary of Kenya, Judi Wakhungu, has given those who are in possession of elephant ivory a 21-day time frame to bring forward their illegal trophies – if they co-operate, they will not be prosecuted. The ivory that has been secured is being held in a stockroom in Nairobi and will be torched on 30 April.

Kenya Ivory
Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Director General Kitili Mbathi poses in a secure ivory stockroom in NairobiCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Confiscated ivory is moved to secure containers from an ivory stockroom at the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) headquarters in NairobiCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Kenyan authorities seized 40 pieces of ivory tusks at a private residence in NairobiJohn Muchucha /AFP

Elephant hunting and poaching (along with the exploration of the ivory trade) is illegal, yet people are continuing to do so, which poses a major threat to elephant populations. Despite the ban, elephants are still being poached in large numbers.

During the 1970s, there were 1900 elephants killed in Kenya for their ivory tusks. This number proceeded to increase to 8300 in the following decade. In 1989, the former president of Kenya, Daniel arap Moi, made a dramatic gesture to convince the world to eradicate the ivory trade by burning 12 tons of elephant tusks. In 1990, the Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna) ban was put in place, which saw a decline in elephant killings. From 2006, there was a sudden upsurge in poaching and ivory trafficking, driven by increasing demand in Asia.

Kenya Ivory
A Kenya Wildlife Services ranger walks through a secure ivory stockroom in NairobiCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Confiscated ivory is moved and catalogued from an ivory stockroom at the Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) headquarters in NairobiCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS) Director General Kitili Mbathi poses in a secure ivory stockroom in NairobiCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta (R) holds a burning torch as he prepares to burn 15 tons of elephant ivory seized in Nairobi National Park, KenyaCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
A soldier stands guard as 15 tonnes of seized elephant ivory is set ablaze at Nairobi's National Park, Kenya.Carl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Elephants walk with their calves across the plain at Amboseli National ParkTony Karumba /AFP
Kenya Ivory
A KWS security officer stands near a burning pile of 15 tonnes of elephant ivory, seized in Kenya at Nairobi National ParkCarl de Souza/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
An elephant skeleton without its tusks is seen in Kora National ParkIvan Lieman/ AFP

Prince William, who is president of United For Wildlife, teamed up with the global transportation industry in 2015, to develop a new crackdown on illegal wildlife trafficking routes. A declaration was then signed by around 40 airline, port, shipping and custom agencies along with conservation charities at Buckingham Palace. The declaration came up with an 11-point action plan to make it more difficult for traffickers to move their illegal goods around.

"We have faced up to the fact that if current trends continue, the last wild African elephants and rhinos will be killed before my daughter Charlotte reaches her 25th birthday," he told Reuters.

Kenya Ivory
Prince William feeds a baby elephant in the wild in Xishuangbanna, Yunnan province, China.Getty Images
Kenya Ivory
Elephant's lower jaws are displayed outside the Save the Elephants centre in Samburu game reserve. The jaws, belonging to a mixture of both poached elephants and elephants who have died of natural causes, can be used to determine age and sex of the elephant at point of deathCarl de Souza /AFP
Kenya Ivory
An aerial view of Kora National Park in KenyaIvan Lieman/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
People rally as part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, demanding a halt to poaching of elephants and rhinos in Nairobi, KenyaSimon Maina/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
Conservation activists demonstrate in Nairobi, KenyaTony Karumba /AFP
Kenya Ivory
People rally as part of the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, demanding a halt to poaching of elephants and rhinosSimon Maina/ AFP

At the turn of the 20th century, there were a "few million African elephants, and about 100,0000 Asian elephants in existence, according to Defenders of Wildlife – that number has dropped dramatically. There are now only 450,000-700,000 African elephants and between 35,000-40,000 Asian elephants in the wild, according to the same source.

Kenya Ivory
An illegal ivory stockpile is set alight at the Tsavo National Park near Nairobi, KenyaTony Karumba /AFP
Kenya Ivory
Kenya Wildlife Service's (KWS) anti-poaching squad perform a patrol in search of poachers and displaced elephants through the Kora National Park in Tana River County, KenyaIvan Lieman/ AFP
Kenya Ivory
An illegal ivory stockpile goes up in smoke at the Tsavo National ParkTony Karumba /AFP
Kenya Ivory
An illegal ivory stockpile is burned at the Tsavo National Park near Nairobi, KenyaTony Karumba /AFP
Kenya Ivory
Elephants are seen at sunset at Amboseli National Park, KenyaTony Karumba /AFP