African countries urged to speak one voice in ivory and wildlife trade – Sibungo
The Deputy Minister of Environment, Forestry and Tourism, Heather Sibungo recently called on African countries to speak one voice in the ivory and wildlife trade to directly benefit communities in co-existence and taking care of the wildlife.
Sibungo echoed this in her remarks at the just ended African Elephant Conference held in Hwange, Zimbabwe from 23 to 26 May
She further called on African countries to involve their communities to participate in quota settings for the utilization of elephants and other wildlife species.
At the event, the Deputy Minister reminded participants of the conference that if communities that live with elephants and other wildlife do not benefit, this situation may trigger poaching or just random shooting at these animals.
She pointed out that, the African wildlife is for Africans and should be available at their disposal to use sustainably. External parties do not have the liberty to control and sensor the utilization of African wildlife.
“We have protected these animals for many years and we’ll continue to sustainably do so,” she stressed.
Meanwhile, the African Elephant Conference drafted a Declaration to lobby at CITES for a better trade deal in Ivory and Wildlife in Africa. Southern Africa has the highest African population of elephants at around 65%.