Wildlife crime under spotlight

12 Feb 2019 12:10pm
WINDHOEK, 12 FEB (NAMPA) – The Combating of wildlife crime in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area (KAZA TFCA) programme is this week zoning in on various ways to make the initiative a success.
A three-day workshop currently underway here until Thursday, hosting members of the judiciary and prosecutors from KAZA countries, seeks to develop an improved understanding of transnational wildlife crime.
This was revealed in a media statement by the United States Embassy on Tuesday.
According to the statement, the event will also allow participants to share information and experiences, and discuss how to better cooperate and collaborate in the fight against illegal cross-border wildlife trade.
The statement said wildlife is an important cultural and economic asset that contributes significantly to economic development and sustaining the livelihoods of millions of people.
However, wildlife crime is pushing some of the world’s most iconic species toward extinction while driving a lucrative criminal industry that fuels instability.
The KAZA TFCA has seen an increase in wildlife crime, particularly poaching and associated trade of rhino horn and ivory.
The combating wildlife crime initiative is financially supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund and the KAZA Secretariat. It is a five-year initiative to counter threats from transnational wildlife crime to endangered populations of black rhino and elephants in Namibia and the KAZA region.
The KAZA TFCA lies in the Kavango and Zambezi river basins where Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe converge.
It includes the 15 000 square kilometres Okavango Delta, the world’s largest inland delta, and Victoria Falls, a World Heritage Site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.