15 August 2016

US joins fight against wildlife trafficking

Uganda is a major transit country for East Africa’s illegal wildlife trade and a member of the “Gang of Eight” countries most responsible for illegal ivory trafficking.
Wildlife trafficking is a lucrative form of transnational, organised crime that is pushing iconic species toward extinction while undermining peace and security, sustainable livelihoods and the rule of law.

As a result, the United States government is committed to help Uganda end wildlife trafficking.
Ms Deborah R. Malac, the US Ambassador to Uganda, made this pledge during a meeting on Wildlife trafficking last week where she highlighted the US government’s commitment to end wildlife trafficking.

“Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar, black market industry that threatens global security, undermines rule of law, fuels corruption, and hampers economic development. It has significant effects on the national interests of the United States, Uganda, and our partners around the world,” Ambassador Malac noted.

US Mission Uganda partnered with the wildlife trade monitoring network (TRAFFIC) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) to convene the first Uganda Wildlife Trafficking to assess the trends of transnational wildlife crime in Uganda and set priority actions for combating wildlife trafficking nationally.

Among USAID’s flagship activities in Uganda is the Wildlife Trafficking, Response, Assessment, and Priority Setting Project—known as Wildlife TRAPS—a global initiative designed to address illegal wildlife trade between Africa and Asia.
TRAFFIC East Africa coordinator, Julie Thomson, explained: “Uganda is currently at a crossroads—both figuratively, as its wildlife faces poaching pressure, and geographically, as a key transit country for wildlife contraband.”

money sunk in
Investment. Malac said last year, USAID invested more than $55 million (Shs185.3 billion) globally to fight poaching, enhance law enforcement and prosecution, reduce consumer demand, and disrupt the transit of illegal wildlife products.


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