There is a call for combating wildlife trafficking, illegal hunting (Ethiopia)


Leulseged Worku, The Ethiopian Herald

Date Published
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ADDIS ABABA: Wildlife trafficking is one of the global challenges. It is thought to be the third most profitable illicit commerce in the world, after drugs and weapons. Illegal hunting and trafficking are serious challenges to the wildlife.

Ethiopian Wild Life Conservation Development Authority, Wildlife and Products Trafficking Prevention Director, Daneil Paulos told The Ethiopian Herald that elephants, lions, tigers and rhinoceros are targets of illegal hunting and trafficking. He also said, the demand for lions’ bone for traditional medicine is exacerbating illegal lion hunting.

Formerly it was Tiger’s bone that had been used for traditional medicinal purpose in Asian countries. 

However now, with the decrease in number of tiger and strict measure on illegal hunting of tigers , the focus of hunters is diverted to lions. The turn of events is creating pressure on lions. He also said, even cubs are victims of illegal trafficking.

To redress the tragic scenario, the Authority is working on awareness creation. 

According to Daniel, military personnel, legal bodies, federal police and other concerned bodies are part and parcel of this awareness creation program. The other measure, which is being taken by the Authority, is the enforcement of international conventions and national laws.

He also said, the Authority is also strengthening its cooperation with neighboring countries and international community that stood against all forms of illegal hunting and wildlife trafficking. 

As part of this cooperation the Authority has finalized its preparation to receive four sniffer dogs that will help the country control wildlife trafficking. This international organization has agreed to give the Authority four sniffer dogs with all necessary facilities, he said.

“The use of sniffer dogs has proved effective in controlling wildlife trafficking. This will fill our gaps,” Daniel said. Ivory trade and others are still the problem for the wild life. As a means to protect this pressure, the Authority is also working closely with the society and concerned bodies.

Lately, the U.S. Embassy’s Regional Environment Office for East Africa had organizing a telephonic conference with media personnel at the U.S Embassy in Addis Ababa. The Ethiopia Herald had a chance to attended the conference.

According to Richard Glenn, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in Washington D.C., wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar organized crime activity, and obviously a critical conservation issue. 

It pushes many of the iconic and some not-so-iconic species to the brink of extinction. It restricts economic development, it threatens security and stability, and certainly undermines the rule of law.

“For this reason, we certainly strive to help partner nations in Africa, Southeast Asia, and in the Americas.” There is a call for improving their enforcement, their investigative skills, their prosecution and legislative capacities.