Monday, 26 August 2013

Mozambique commits to tackling wildlife crime

International attempt to reduce wildlife poaching in and from Mozambique
July 2013-Under increasing pressure from CITES, neighbouring South Africa and the international conservation community, Mozambican government officials have vowed to escalate their responses towards tackling wildlife crime, particularly elephant and rhino poaching. 

"Mozambique recognises the economic and security threats from trans-boundary criminal networks undertaking these activities, and the country is committed to finding solutions to these problems", said Marcelino Foloma, Head of Mozambique's Wildlife Department at the Ministry of Agriculture. 

Hosted by TRAFFIC and the Mozambican National Directorate of Land and Forestry, the three-day workshop was attended by representatives from several ministries, including Agriculture, Tourism, Customs, Finance, Home Affairs and Environmental Co-ordination. The event afforded a key opportunity to improve communication and collaboration between governmental institutions and civil society, to address serious defects in current wildlife legislation and to establish formal mechanisms for sharing information about illegal wildlife trade and taking law enforcement actions.

TRAFFIC also rolled out a series of species identification materials in the Portuguese language to assist Mozambique's law enforcement community to identify contraband wildlife products, including elephant ivory, rhino horn, lion bone, pangolins and several protected timber species.

"This is the first time Mozambique's law enforcement community is equipped with species identification materials in their own language", said Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC elephant and rhino coordinator who attended the workshop. "It's critical that these valuable tools are available to fight increasing wildlife crime."

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