The Cabinet Secretary (CS) for Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Hon. Peninah Malonza, today opened the Lusaka Agreement Taskforce on Cooperative Enforcement Operations directed at Illegal Trade in Wildlife Fauna and Flora Workshop, in Mombasa.
“The Government of Kenya, along with the Parties to Lusaka Agreement and our partners, hopes that this training will enable participating agencies to contribute effectively to combating illegal trafficking of wildlife specimens in the region,” said the CS.
The 5-day workshop whose theme is ‘Fostering Cooperation to Combat Wildlife and Forest crime in Africa’, is being attended by representatives from 3 East African member States; Kenya Uganda and Tanzania.
“Your representation of the three East African countries with shared trans-boundary ecosystems such as Tsavo/Mkomazi, Mara/Serengeti, and Mt. Elgon is of paramount importance. This workshop is particularly timely in contributing to the implementation of the East African Community Wildlife Conservation and Management Policy (2022), focusing on addressing inadequate national capacities for enforcement, investigation, and adjudication of wildlife crime,” added the CS.
Wildlife crime is a complex and dynamic challenge for law enforcement agencies, requiring skills, resources, and information. Given the high levels of wildlife crime in the continent, with seized contraband like elephant ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin scales originating from Africa, there is need to enhance collaboration among law enforcement agencies through increased surveillance and information sharing.
“Successfully combating wildlife crime necessitates collaboration and pooling our limited financial, human, and information resources for coordinated operations. Regional capacity building programs like this offer an excellent opportunity to share experiences, develop skills, and build an effective network for collaborative wildlife law enforcement,” added Malonza.