Over 30 participants from Malawi Police Service (MPS), various organizations from Zambia and Tanzania are undergoing a 5-day training on wildlife crime scene management in Lilongwe.
The training started on Monday at the central region police headquarters with a facilitation team from Botswana, the US and Tanzania, according to central region police spokesperson, Supt. Nolliettie Chihana.
The training is being done with support from The Lilongwe Wildlife Trust and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and it is aimed at honing the skills of the participants in protecting, preserving and conserving wildlife and how best to combat wildlife crimes.
“Malawi has had a lot of cases where elephants have been killed for ivory and on the other hand, Malawi has been used as a route by wildlife criminals to illegally transport game trophies from one country to another, hence this training,” explained Chihana.
“We have had awareness campaigns to mobilize the public to protect, preserve and conserve wildlife and this training will complement all these efforts and we hope to have a sound network of wildlife protection within Malawi Police Service and also across the borders.”
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) John Nyondo, officially opened the training and he hailed the selection of the participants which he described as “strategic” and he challenged the participants to take the fight against wildlife crime seriously.
Nyondo said if the country could protect her wildlife and succeed in combating wildlife crime it would boost the tourism industry which would in turn spur the economy.
Coordinator for wildlife investigations in African countries, who is also US Fish and Wildlife attaché based in Tanzania, Samuel Friberg, said he was happy to carry out the training in Malawi saying the MPS was always willing to take part in the fight against wildlife crime.
He said apart from equipping wildlife investigators with skills the training would also help in speeding up investigations of other wild life crimes
Another speaker at the opening of the training, DCP Josiah Kanthiti, said as a global village, it was high time countries came together to discuss and share knowledge, experience and expertise on how to counterattack crime across the globe as “global problems require global solutions”.