Zimbabwe Commits to the fight against illegal Wildlife trade and Trafficking.

  • Published: October 19th, 2018
  • | By Lisa Tazviinga |


 

Photo Credit:Fulton Mangwanya/ Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority

LISA TAZVIINGA                                                                                                                              

Zimbabwe has pleaded zero tolerance on illegal wildlife trade and trafficking, said the Minister of Tourism and hospitality Industry, Mrs Prisca Mupfumira.

Minister Mupfumira said this while addressing delegates at the London Conference on protection of wildlife held under the theme-End wild life crime, recently.

During her head of session speech, Mupfumira guaranteed Zimbabwe’s contribution in the fight against wildlife trade and trafficking.

“The government of Zimbabwe pledges zero tolerance on illegal wildlife trade and trafficking.

“We will continue to strengthen our robust legal framework governing the conservation and management of wildlife resources putting more deterrent penalties and investments that enhance success in prosecution of wildlife animals,” she said.

She said owing to the continued improvements in technology, Nations needed to come together in this fight as it a challenge that calls for a collective effort.

“The increase in sophistication and technology and communication has made criminals more efficient, we need each other now more than ever, the scourge is something that no one country can handle alone,” said Mupfumira.

She said more needed to be done on a global scale to ensure the extended protection of endangered animals since protected areas can only go so far, especially pertaining wild range animals that move across borders.

She said Zimbabwe, in sync with neighbouring countries, was already embarking on programmes that ensure protection of regional animals across borders.

“We are currently pursuing 6Trans Frontier Conservative Areas (TFCA) initiatives in collaboration with Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia, Mozambique and South Africa, said Mupfumira.

Minister said the initiatives merged with the signature Communal Areas Management Programmes for Indigenous Resources (CAMPFIRE) will guarantee and increase in the Nation’s Wildlife convention areas.

“13% of Zimbabwe’s land is under protected areas category, these programmes will guarantee an increase in protected areas in Zimbabwe to 26%.

She said identifying, mapping and securing wildlife movement corridors will ensure the survival of various species and also the space for growing populations of endangered wildlife,

Minister urged governments to consider adding green corridors in law governing wildlife.

“Green corridors do not have a protection status under the laws governing wildlife, the competing land use and limited resources justify the need to put in place appropriate tools for the protection of green corridors,” said Minister.

She said that these efforts were in line with SADC TFCA, particularly the convention on Convention on Migratory Species and conservation on Limited Trade in Endangered species of Flora and fauna.

She said the scope for helpers also extends to the local communities who can also play the role of an intelligence network in alerting authorities of crimes against wild life.

The Minister further encouraged promotion of exchange programmes to facilitate the cross pollination of ideas and lessons on implementing the UN convention against Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC).

Zimbabwe has been part of the conventions on wildlife since its official declaration at the 2014 Global Leadership summit.

Meanwhile, Director General of Zimbabwe Parks and wildlife, Mr Fulton Mangwanya recently attended the 29th INTERPOL Wildlife Crime Working Group Meeting at Lancaster House in London on the 8th of October 2018.