Principal Secretary(PS), State Department for Wildlife, Ms. Silvia Museiya on 28th June opened the Experts Session of the Extraordinary meeting of the 13th Lusaka Agreement Governing Council.
”This meeting is being held at a time when wildlife crime has become a global agenda and indeed significant investments continue to be made in the fight against illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. It is therefore gratifying to see our member states and other African countries congregating, as is the case here , to review progress and formulate pragmatic solutions towards curtailing the vice, which is decimating our rich environmental resources that are mainstays of most economies in Africa” Ms. Museiya noted.
The Experts meeting which took place in Day one of the programme is an interaction of technical experts from the Ministries responsible for wildlife and forestry and national bureaus from respective member states, and other partners.
The Lusaka Agreement negotiated under the auspices of UNEP, is a multilateral environmental treaty adopted in in Lusaka, Zambia. Its main objective is to foster cooperation among member states in reducing and ultimately eliminating illegal trade in wild fauna and flora.
The current membership to the Agreement comprises Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Tanzania and Zambia; and signatories Ethiopia, Eswatini and South Africa. It is open for accession by all African States.
Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) serves as the secretariat and operational arm of the treaty. Its main function is to facilitate cooperative enforcement activities in/among member states to the Lusaka Agreement, in carrying out investigations on violations of laws pertaining to illegal trade in wild fauna and flora.
The main activities and strategic priorities for Lusaka Agreement, mainly for Member States, include Cooperative Law Enforcement, Financial Sustainability, Capacity Building, Development of Strategic Partnerships and Expansion of Membership.
”Wildlife crime is ranked 4th after drug trafficking, human trafficking and illicit small arms. It is organized, transnational in nature and hence requires combined efforts with other countries to stem its growing tide” PS Museiya further noted.
The 2 day meeting will see Kenya assume Presidency of the Governing Council.