Wildlfie traffickers better equiped than Kenyan government, lobby says
01 September 2016, 15:27
Nairobi - Conservationists have challenged African policymakers
to take more concrete and organized measures to stamp out wildlife
trafficking in a just ended African conservation and tourism forum.
As part of the solutions, the conservationists called on regional
countries to revise the existing law and pass a wildlife law-specific
statute, build and strengthen education capacity of wildlife law
enforcement, especially during cadet training.
The recommendations were made at the conclusion of a two-day meeting
dubbed Kwita Izina Conversation on Conservation 2016, in Kigali on
The event was held under the theme: "United in driving economic growth through conservation."
The meeting called on governments to recognize conservation as a
pillar or driver of the broader economic agenda and incentivize
conservation by creating a conducive environment.
"Inculcate accountability and transparency in the management of
wildlife, put in place stricter border and customs control...develop
coordinated and cooperative law enforcement approaches," the resolutions
issued at the end of the meeting said.
Michel Masozera, Country Program Director for Wildlife Conservation
Society, said, "We conserve to sustain. Policies need to be translated
into concrete actions or else wildlife faces a risk of extinction."
According to international police organization Interpol, over 25
billion U.S. dollars per year is fetched out of wildlife trafficking
across the world.
Earlier, Jim Karani, a Legal Affairs Manager at Wildlife Direct
(Kenya) decried the fact that wildlife traffickers seem more organized
He attributed this to inactive laws, lack of transparency and
accountability in government institutions as well as unsatisfactory
social welfare of conservationists.
Rwanda's Inspector General of Police, Emmanuel Gasana, said
challenges to combat wildlife trafficking lie within the lack of
"We face difficulties in gathering evidences and defining actors
involved in illegal trade of wildlife products, because there are
normally syndicates and it becomes difficult for law enforcers and other
actors to unmask the whole network," said Gasana.
Rhino horns, ivory, hides and skins of big cats and reptiles are among the trafficked wildlife products.
Rwanda last month intercepted a total of 168 kg of elephant tusks involving 14 suspects.