Training for Horn of Africa Government Officials to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

Friday, July 1, 2011
Djibouti, Djibouti
Government officials from the Horn of Africa region will undergo a five-day training workshop to improve their capacity and ability to more effectively combat wildlife crimes. The 60 officials who are drawn from wildlife law enforcement, police, marine, veterinary and customs come from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan and Kenya.

Jointly organised by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock & Fishery Resources in Djibouti, the training aims to cover issues on status of species, magnitude of trade, criminal smuggling techniques, law enforcement, international trade conventions and organisations and inter-agencies cooperation that pertains to wildlife.

The workshop will equip the officials with knowledge and techniques in the prevention of illegal wildlife trade. They will learn practical, hands-on skills used in the identification and proper handling of species commonly smuggled illegally through the Horn of Africa region and into other continents such as Asia and the Gulf zone.

The training was officially opened by Idriss Abdou Ali, Secretary General, Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Livestock & Fishery Resources. Speaking during the opening, James Isiche, IFAW’s Regional Director for Eastern Africa, commented that wildlife crime levels are on the rise in Africa with most of the wildlife and its trophies slipping through the continent’s borders undetected.

“The complex and sophisticated nature of wildlife crime now requires that countries co-operate through information sharing and joint enforcement operations to fight the criminal syndicates involved. New developments in technology and the increased connectivity between Africa and other continents requires government officials and agencies to constantly review and upgrade their capacities to prevent poaching and the illegal trade in trophies such as elephant ivory and rhino horn, and in the live trade in big cats, reptiles, great apes and birds of prey,” said Isiche.   

IFAW has in the past organised similar training workshops for wildlife crime busters from Northern Africa and Middle Eastern countries, Oceania, the Caribbean, and Eastern, Central and Southern Africa.

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