Lack of equip­ment, per­son­nel a ma­jor prob­lem in ‘pro­tect­ing wildlife’

The Star (Kenya) - - Politics -

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.

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