21 September 2012

Ethiopia: Marching Against Illegal Wildlife Poaching

Ethiopia is home to a diversified wild animals, including the indigenous ones which roam free in various national parks.

Though it is untapped, the already available wildlife recourse has still have a huge potential and charismatic effect in putting tourists across the globe on board. Hence, its contribution for the national economy is immense. To enrich the sector and make it one of the prime actors of the nation's rapid economic growth and development, the government has attached due emphasis to it. One best reference to that is the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) has laid goals in the tourism industry to be competent and a choice for tourist destination in Africa through ensuring the benefits of the population and building the country's image.

Some organized gangs, however, are posing a serious threat to the sector through poaching of wild animals. What makes worse their acts is that their eyes are set on the already endangered species found in various parks and sanctuaries of the nation. Reports show that the organized criminals are assisted by internet and mobile technology as well as modern arms to facilitate their businesses. As a result, they have outsmarted the local park scouts, thus, only in the past fiscal year thirty elephants had been killed by poachers. What is more, Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) recently disclosed that it confiscated over five thousand kilograms of ivory at the Ethiopian check points. This pose immeasurable danger to the nation, be it to the extinction of the animals, tax infringement, lose of the intended foreign currency or whatever.

Tackling this evil act is ,therefore, indisputable with strategies which may range from educating the local people to making the illegals feel the consequences through legal means. EWCA also shouldered a great responsibility to build the capacity of its staff and the relevant stakes which can support the efforts. Indeed, it recently signed a memorandum of understanding which help it get supports from International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to be effective in three years time. This is a good opportunity for the authority to maximize its efforts in the fight against these illegal wildlife poachers.

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