East Africa, Arabian Peninsula Training Workshop on Wildlife Trafficking Conducted

East Africa, Arabian Peninsula Training Workshop on
Wildlife Trafficking Conducted

A training workshop focused on the illegal trafficking of wildlife and their products conducted from 17 - 21 November 2014 in Addis Ababa, at Friendship International Hotel.

The training workshop was organized jointly by the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, International Fund for Animal welfare, Freeland Foundation, African Wildlife Foundation, Lusaka Agreement Task Force and Interpol.

The five days  training, which in officers from Interpol, wildlife law enforcement (Customs) and CITES management officers of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, United Arab Emirates, Oman and Jordan have participated, is aimed at raising their skills in identification and correct handling of species commonly trafficked in the regions of East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

During the working session, explanations were given on the general topics entitled wildlife trade status by species, wildlife crimes and enforcement laws, international trade conventions and organizations, and inter-agency co-operation to improve international and regional communications by concerned professionals.

In his statement to journalists, H.E. Ato Dawud Mume, Director General of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, said that Ethiopia has been carrying out extensive activities to protect the illegal wildlife trafficking and to implement the international conventions on wildlife.

Earlier, in his remark at the opening session, Wildlife Trade Program Director with IFAW, Mr. Kelvin Ali stressed the need for nations of the regions to work integrated so as to halt the illegal trafficking of wildlife and their products.  

The training workshop was officially opened by his Excellency, Ato Amin Abdulkadir, Minister of Culture and Tourism.  In his opening address, the minister said that the training workshop was the right direction and would have a paramount importance to participating countries and the African countries at large in combating illegal trade and trafficking in wildlife. He also expressed his belief that the training contributes to initiate co-operation between national law enforcement agencies in the regions of East Africa and Arabian Peninsula, beside capacitating participating officers.

Mr. Azzedine Downes, president and CEO of IFAW is quoted by the communication section of IFAW as saying, “My organization is committed to help law enforcers hone their skills to work even more effectively to bring wildlife trafficking to a stop.

Commander Kebede Bizuneh, the Transnational Crime Intelligence Co-coordinator and delegate of Director of National Central Bureau of Interpol in Ethiopia, delivered a speech at the closing ceremony of the training workshop, in which he said” many species of animals are illegally poached to supply the global demand for luxury trinkets and possession of live wildlife as pets. This alarming situation calls for international and inter agency collaboration which, for the last week, has been well demonstrated
through this training. To stem wildlife trafficking, this collaboration needs to extend beyond this training and continue even after the participants return
to their workstations.”

Commander Kebede has also awarded certificates to the participants and to the members of organizing committee from the EWCA.

It was also noted that participants have made a visit to the wildlife care center  at Holota , a town situated 30 kilometres  away from Addis Ababa.

In their remark at the end of the training workshop, the participants suggested that the lessons drawn from the training would enable them narrow the gap prevailing in terms of co-operation and communication there by contribute to reduce the illegal trafficking of wildlife and their products.