Lack of equipment, personnel a major problem in ‘protecting wildlife’
Lack of personnel and equipment is a major stumbling block in protecting Africa’s iconic species. African Wildlife Foundation Vice President for Species Conservation Philip Muruthi on Tuesday said combating wildlife crime calls for inter-agency and regional collaboration. “Such partnerships enhance efficiency in illegal wildlife products interceptions at airports, seaports and border points. It also strengthens wildlife crime prosecutions, ”he said. Muruthi spoke in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where wildlife law enforcement agencies have gathered to enhance skills of wildlife law prosecution. Thirty representatives from wildlife and law enforcement institutions are gathering in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a three-day training. Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, African Wildlife Foundation and the International Fund for Animal Welfare convened the training that started on Tuesday. International Fund for Animal Welfare East Africa regional director James Isiche (pictured) said proper management and tough punishment for wildlife crimes is a critical component in protecting animals. “This training seeks to ensure that judicial and prosecutorial personnel are well-equipped with necessary capabilities to prosecute law violators,” he said. In July, DPP Keriako Tobiko declared war on illegal trade in wildlife and trophies. He said assets owned by poachers, dealers and traffickers will be confiscated. Some countries have been accused of applying wildlife policies and legislation that fail to treat poaching and trafficking as a serious offence.