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Wildlife ministers from Africa hold bilateral meetings on wildlife conservation

Date Published: 11 Mar, 2013
Wildlife ministers from Africa hold bilateral meetings on wildlife conservation

Delegates from various African countries led by their ministers in a meeting over illegal killing of rhinos and elephants

Hon. Dr. Noah Wekesa, the Minister for Forestry and Wildlife, met with his counterparts from Democratic Republic of Congo, Namibia and South Africa during the ongoing CITES meeting in Bangkok, Thailand.

The main purpose of the meeting was address mitigation measures on escalating poaching of rhinos and elephants.

Each minister emphasised the need to establish one union for African rhino and elephant range states which shall enable them to speak with one voice at all International fora on issue pertaining to wildlife and biodiversity. This collaboration could be anchored on an African Union (AU) or African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) platforms. Invitations could then be extended to all other relevant wildlife ministers across Africa.

 The ministers agreed on the need for expanding consultations beyond the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) and expressed the desire to expand LATF to include more countries.  A coordination mechanism for such collaboration was discussed. 

With regard to demand for rhino horn and ivory, the ministers noted that there is need for cooperation with governments whose citizens are involved in the trafficking and consumption of illegal rhino horn and ivory. 

Democratic Republic of Congo Minister reported that his country was preparing to host a congress on wildlife later this year. The congress could be used as a launch pad for African cooperation and collaboration on wildlife matters as well as occasion to burn all seized ivory.

Kenya and South Africa further discussed a draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries.  The MoU was initiated early February and is envisaged to foster cooperation in areas of research and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity, wildlife law enforcement and conservation awareness.  The signing of the MoU is expected as soon as the necessary legal processes and appropriate languages are complete.





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