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WILDLIFE TRAFFICKING ASSESSMENT REPORT VALIDATED
Posted: 17 Jun 2019

The Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission (FC) has organized two-day workshop to validate Wildlife Trafficking Assessment Report in Accra. The assessment report seeks to support combatting wildlife trafficking at points of entry of Countries within the West Africa Sub-region. It identifies gaps and challenges in the implementation of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and suggests ways of addressing them.

The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is an international treaty to prevent species from becoming endangered or extinct because of international trade. Under this treaty, countries work together to regulate international trade of animal and plant species to ensure that international trade is not detrimental to the survival of wild populations. Any trade in protected plant and animal species should be sustainable, based on sound biological understanding and principles.

Shedding more light on implementation of CITES laws at the opening of the workshop, Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, the Executive Director of Wildlife Division and CITES Management Authority in Ghana, indicated that the report is in-country and implored on the participants to look at factual inaccuracies of the document, criticize, validate and ratify it. In furtherance to this, he entreated them to cooperate and work together to present a refined document beneficial to the country and ECOWAS Sub-Region.

General presentations on CITES, and the role of Stakeholders in Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade were done to sensitize the participants before the validation process begun.

Mr. Michael Balinga from the West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC), an NGO working on combatting wildlife trafficking and sustainable wildlife management in West Africa spoke on public education and awareness on CITES. He said, legal trade in wildlife is less than the illegal aspect of it. He emphasized that the motivation in the trade is due to the fact that international wildlife trade is very attractive to smugglers in that, the amount realized in the illegal Wildlife trade is huge and does not go to the various Governments but to the individuals. He therefore, advised the implementing countries to endeavour to work together to stamp out the illegal trade since it’s detrimental to the sustenance of the natural resource base.

 

In his closing remarks, Nana Kofi Adu-Nsiah, Executive  Director, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission mentioned that with the validated Wildlife Trafficking Assessment Report, Ghana’s capacity to combat wildlife trafficking at various points of entry will significantly improve.

The assessment was done by Born Free USA and Supported by USAID and West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change (WABiCC). Participants were drawn from CITES stakeholder institutions including:- Customs, Police, Interpol, Wildlife Exporters, Wildlife and Forest Services Divisions of the Forestry Commission, Veterinary Services, Fisheries Commission, West Africa Primate Conservation Association (WAPCA-Ghana), USAID and US Embassy in Ghana.

 

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