(Xinhua) -- The
International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Lusaka
Agreement Task Force (LATF) on Tuesday inked a MoU on bilateral
cooperation in combating wildlife crime in Africa.
Regional Director James Isiche said after signing the deal in
Nairobi that the deal will facilitate cooperative wildlife law
enforcement operations and relevant capacity building programs
between the two organizations to benefit Lusaka Agreement
member states and the entire African continent.
said wildlife crime is of international concern hence the need
to develop strong partnerships not only amongst countries but
international agencies as well, in tackling the vice.
Lusaka Agreement has been ratified by seven African countries
including Kenya, Congo Brazzaville, Lesotho, Liberia, Tanzania,
Uganda and Zambia while Ethiopia, Swaziland and South Africa are
signatories of the inter-governmental law enforcement
organization that aims to coordinate regional efforts to reduce
illegal trade in wild fauna and flora.
is also working with the member states to strengthen existing
laws as well as enforcement on illegal trade of wildlife.
addition to illegal wildlife trade, intensive poaching and over
exploitation of the resources, habitat loss and human- wildlife
conflict are seen as other greatest problems facing wildlife
populations in Africa.
mitigate these, Isiche said IFAW undertakes various
interventions including training law enforcement officers in
wildlife trafficking prevention and partnering with
conservationists and communities to conserve environments,
monitoring elephant migratory routes and securing more space
Director Bonaventure Ebayi said Africa is witnessing increased
sophistication in transnational illegal wildlife trade, noting
that the criminal networks have devised means to elude law
enforcement by often changing their modus operandi.
said LATF is committed to the fight and will remain focused in
supporting national regional and global enforcement efforts
and developing strategic partnerships in fulfilling its
crime and related illegal trade is now globally ranked as one of
the most serious international crimes.
reports from wildlife conservationists indicated that proceeds
of wildlife crime are also used to finance other international
crimes including proliferation of illegal firearms, human
trafficking and terrorism cartels of which no country or agency
can single-handedly manage.
the last 15 years, IFAW and LATF have collaborated in combating
wildlife crime and the signing of the agreement fulfills a
decision of the 10th Governing Council of the Parties to the
Lusaka Agreement sitting in November 2011 in Tanzania, with a
view of building capacities of LATF and Parties to the Lusaka
Agreement and in the process strengthen the IFAW/LATF
to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS),
Kenya looks forward to many other African range states
in sending out a fiery message that ivory smuggling and
killing of elephants have no place in the world.
poaching of rhinos and elephants forced the East African nation
to revise its laws to give stiffer penalties for poachers and
other wildlife offenders, saying that the legal regime has to
discourage people from dealing with species that are threatened
tourism industry depends on its wildlife resources and beach
destinations and conservationists have blamed the continued
poaching on the ready markets for the criminal networks that
harvest the merchandise. This
demand mainly emanates from Asia which has pushed the price of a
1 kg of ivory from 100 dollars in the 1970s to over 1500 dollars
currently in the black market.
elephant is recognized as a flagship species representing the
magnificent diverse wildlife resources in the continent.