UK denocunces illegal trade in wildlife
from MARIA MACHARIA in Nairobi, Kenya
NAIROBI, (CAJ News) – UNITED Kingdom Minister for Natural Environment, Lord de Mauley, has condemned the rampant poaching and illegal trade in wildlife.
Speaking ahead of a meeting of political representatives from around the world to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, he meanwhile lauded Kenya for adopting programmes aimed at curbing the problems.
The meeting has been held in Kasane, Botswana.
“The illegal killing and trading of endangered wildlife for profit is abhorrent. The poachers and traffickers who conduct these dreadful crimes must be stopped.
“Organised criminal networks are stealing resources from communities that depend on them, preventing them being used to secure a sustainable future, de Mauley said.
He said the illegal wildlife trade drove corruption, devastated communities, undermined efforts to cut poverty and threatened the existence of some of the world’s most iconic and treasured species.
“There is anecdotal evidence that it is being exploited by terrorist organisations. The illegal wildlife trade must end now. I believe that the international community can achieve this.”
He said since the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference held in London last year, Chad, Belgium, Hong Kong and China among other countries have destroyed stockpiles of seized illegally traded wildlife products. Kenya is the most recent country to have done the same.
“New programmes of work are underway in destination states to reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife trade products, and countries around the world are strengthening their legal frameworks against the trade.
“All of this work is commendable, and vital. But there is more to do.”
In Kenya, through the Department for International Development (DFID) UK
is supporting a UN-led project to tackle the illegal wildlife trade, and have funded training to support implementation of the Wildlife Act.
“I’d like to applaud the Government of Kenya for its recent efforts. The Wildlife Act was an important step, and the stockpile destruction on 3rd March a pivotal moment.”
Meanwhile, the stakeholder conference held in Naivasha demonstrated the
commitment of Government and NGOs here to work together to eradicate
poaching and protect Kenya’s wildlife.
“I urge the Government of Kenya to continue this leadership,” de Mauley said.
– CAJ News
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