Sting of the Green Scor­pi­ons

Pretoria News Weekend - - NEWS - SHEREE BEGA

THIRTEEN tons of croc­o­dile meat val­ued at R5 mil­lion ex­ported from South Africa to Hong Kong with­out per­mits, bakkie and trail­ers “laden full” of rare cy­cads and the in­ter­cep­tion of stor­age units con­tain­ing boxes of cut up ivory .

These were some of the sig­nif­i­cant cases high­lighted in the Depart­ment of En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs’ 2016/17 Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Com­pli­ance and En­force­ment Report (NECER).

The report re­veals a “sig­nif­i­cant” in­crease in re­ports of the ex­port and im­port of species – surg­ing from 17 in 2015 to 208 in 2016/2017. “The next cou­ple of years are go­ing to be a busy time for bio­di­ver­sity com­pli­ance and en­force­ment of­fi­cials in South Africa,” says the report.

“We’re mov­ing into a new and ex­cit­ing di­rec­tion to col­lec­tively com­bat wildlife traf­fick­ing, not only as a threat to con­ser­va­tion but also a na­tional se­cu­rity threat.

“We will con­tinue to fo­cus on rhino and wildlife crime as pri­or­ity crimes but will also main­tain our project fo­cus on tra­di­tional heal­ers’ mar­kets, lion breed­ing fa­cil­i­ties, nurs­eries, in re­la­tion to alien and in­va­sive species, cy­cads and rhino horn stock­piles.”

Its in­spec­tors will fo­cus on coastal dis­charges, specif­i­cally from waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­i­ties.

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