IFAW organizes training workshop on wildlife trafficking in Lebanon

Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Beirut, Lebanese Republic

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW – www.ifaw.org) is organizing specialized training on prevention of wildlife trafficking and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The workshop is being held in collaboration with the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture in Beirut, May 7-11, 2013.

The Lebanese Republic joined CITES recently, and officially became member No. 178 on 3 March 2013. The convention will enter into force on 26 May 2013.

Dr. Elsayed Mohamed, IFAW’s Middle East Regional Director said: “Lebanon’s joining is an important step forward in wildlife conservation. CITES regulates trade in wildlife and animal products, reduces commercial exploitation of endangered species and achieves better protection for them.”

Lebanese Republic occupies an important place strategically and commercially in the Arab region. It is a link between the Middle East, North Africa and Europe, and could play an important role along with other countries in preventing illegal wildlife trade. Lebanon is well known for its natural habitats and wildlife diversity, with over 100 species listed in CITES appendixes.

The 35 participants represent Lebanese officials from CITES’s management and scientific authorities as well as wildlife enforcement authorities. This includes officers from Ministry of Agriculture, Customs, Ministry of Environment and the Internal Security Forces.

Throughout the five-day workshop, officers will learn about CITES and how it works, its importance, permits, appendixes and legislations. Common species in trade within Middle East and North Africa region also will be addressed in the workshop.

“The objective of the workshop is to increase capacity building of countries to fight illegal wildlife trade,” Dr. Elsayed Mohamed added. “The training helps wildlife enforcement authorities gain the necessary knowledge, experience and skills to combat illegal wildlife products and smuggled animals before they cross borders.”

IFAW will conduct practical training for officials on how to detect fraud, forgery and counterfeiting of CITES permits through examination, authentication and verification. Officers will be also trained on how to detect smuggling and the techniques smugglers use to move contraband wildlife animals and products made from them.

The training is part of a worldwide capacity building initiative by IFAW that trains law enforcement officers in wildlife trafficking prevention in several countries throughout Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean. To date, more than 1,600 governmental representatives at the forefront of this struggle have been trained since 2006.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW saves animals in crisis around the world. With projects in more than 40 countries, IFAW rescues individual animals, works to prevent cruelty to animals and advocates for the protection of wildlife and habitats. For more information visit, www.ifaw.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter..

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