MAPUTO, May 3 — The member of CITES Secretariat, Ben Van Rensburg, said Wednesday in Maputo that Mozambique has made significant progress in wildlife conservation, by combating organized crimes and making more communities engaged.
Van Rensburg made the comment on the annual meeting attended by representatives from 25 member countries of CITES, namely the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, to discuss the implementation of national action plans and cooperation to combat the illegal ivory trade.
Van Rensburg said achieving levels where the community is engaged in combating wildlife crimes, such as in Gorongosa National Park in central Mozambique, is vital and encouraging.
He said those efforts among other aspects are the reason why elephant’s population has been recovering in Gorongosa National Park in recent years.
The UK High Commissioner in Maputo Joana Kuenssberg said it is necessary to change incentives of those who drive up the wildlife crimes.
“We want to have long-term sustainable coalitions for the future and encourage practitioners of animal trade to stop the activity,” said the commissioner, adding that it is a global commitment to eradicate poaching in vulnerable countries such as Mozambique.
The Minister of Land, Environment and Rural Development of Mozambique, Celso Correia, said in the opening speech that for an organized crime, an integrated and concerted action is needed.
“We have strengthened control of the main border points, and very soon we will introduce trained canine units for the detection of wildlife products,” he said.
Mozambique has been the signatory of CITES since 1981. The aim of the intergovernmental agreement is to ensure that international trade in wildlife resources does not threaten the survival of the animals and plants involved.