IFAW unveils key partnership with Morocco to tackle illegal wildlife trade

IFAW unveils key partnership with Morocco to tackle illegal wildlife trade
Thursday, 24 August, 2017
Al Rabat, Morocco

With illegal wildlife trade being one of the most serious threats to biodiversity, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Moroccan government’s High Commission for Water, Forests, and Combating Desertification (HCEFLCD) are announcing a partnership to strengthen the protection of wildlife and habitats.

Home of many remarkable species, including the notable endangered Barbary macaque (Macaca sylvanus), Morocco is stepping up its efforts to protect its stunning natural habitats and rich wildlife diversity in a context where wildlife crime often has a striking impact upon natural resources, cultural heritage and even security in many countries and regions of the world.

Today’s agreement between IFAW and the HCEFLCD is an opportunity that will allow new initiatives to strengthen the fight against poaching, dismantle wildlife trafficking routes and enhance the rescue and rehabilitation of wild confiscated animals, notably under the framework of the Born to be Wild project, which is currently under discussion between the two parties.

In presence of the High Commissioner for Water and Forests and the Fight against Desertification Dr. Abdeladim Lhafi, IFAW President and CEO Azzedine Downes warmly welcomed a collaboration of significant importance: “We have long recognized the complexities of wildlife trade and in response have worked hard to nurture and support inter-agency cooperation as a way to address them. We are therefore pleased to be working closely with the Moroccan government to implement creative activities that would facilitate the coexistence and harmony between local communities and wildlife.”

Dr. Abdeladim stressed the importance of this agreement: “This agreement comes in support of the National Strategy for the Protection of Nature and more specifically of endangered species of fauna and flora. This strategy began in the 1990s through the establishment of several nature reserves, the rehabilitation of endangered species as well as the strengthening of national legislation.

IFAW-MENA Regional Director Dr. Elsayed noted the cooperation between IFAW and the High Commission for Water, Forests and Combating Desertification is critical in preventing wildlife trafficking: “We intend to closely coordinate our efforts with the High Commission with the aim of disrupting and dismantling wildlife trafficking routes. Increasing the flow of information shared at international levels concerning wildlife crime and confiscations that may have occurred in Europe, as well as strengthening the capacity for law enforcement officers to intervene, should be amongst our top priorities.”

Education and awareness on animal welfare and conservation topics are also at the forefront of this important partnership. The work will enable future generations to see that each individual animal matters to the whole of its population.

About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW rescues and protects animals 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 social at @action4ifaw and Facebook/IFAW.

About the High Commission for Water, Forests and Combating Desertification

HCEFLCD is dedicated to the development and implementation of the national policy regarding conservation and sustainable development of forest resources, halfah grass, silvopasture, as well as developing local fisheries, parks, nature reserves, and regulating of hunting. Additionally, the High Commission contributes to the preparation, implementation, and evaluation of government policies in preventing desertification and in managing natural resources during the development of rural areas.

Additional information about today’s agreement is available at www.eauxetforets.gov.ma.

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Experts

Azzedine Downes,IFAW President and CEO
President and Chief Executive Officer
Beth Allgood, Country Director, United States
Country Director, United States
Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Dr. Joseph Okori
Regional Director, Southern Africa and Program Director, Landscape Conservation
Faye Cuevas, Esq.
Senior Vice President
Grace Ge Gabriel, Regional Director, Asia
Regional Director, Asia
Jason Bell, Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Vice President for Conservation and Animal Welfare
Executive Vice President
Executive Vice President
Patrick Ramage, Program Director, Whales
Program Director, Marine Conservation
Rikkert Reijnen, Program Director, Wildlife Crime
Program Director, Wildlife Crime