The meeting is aimed at fostering co-operation and cultivating synergy among wildlife authorities to combat wildlife crime, in particular, elephant poaching and illegal ivory trade in Eastern Africa.
“It will contribute to the establishment of a wildlife directors’ forum that will continuously promote dialogue as well as jointly formulate and implement strategies in addressing wildlife crime in the region,” Nairobi-based Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) said in a statement.
The meeting is organized by LATF, which is the Secretariat and operational arm of the Lusaka Agreement on Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora,
The meeting will bring together policymakers at ministries responsible for wildlife, as well as chief executives and heads of wildlife law enforcement from wildlife authorities in six Eastern Africa elephant range states of Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as well as officials from UN and Interpol.
Kenya remains a poaching hotspot in Africa despite widespread campaigns by conservationists to condemn the menace that is to blame for loss of millions of dollars and ecosystems disruption.
According to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya’s population of elephants and rhinos stand at 37,000 and 1,100 respectively.
Kenya has also been identified as one of the leading transit routes for smuggling ivory out of Africa, with several incidents of ivory seizures and recovery of wildlife carcasses in recent past. Enditem