15 February 2014

Angola: Nation Defends Importance of Combating Wildlife Trade

The Angolan government has announced on Thursday in London, UK, its whole concern about the gradual strengthening of the network of people and money associated with wildlife trade and other forms of organised criminal activity.

This position was expressed by the Secretary of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Manuel Augusto, who led the Angolan delegation in the first International Conference on the Illegal Trade in Wild Animals.

Manuel Augusto said that Angola is aware that organised crime groups, which work on the smuggling and illegal trade in meat from poached animals, seem to attractive due to reduced capacity for implementation and enforcement of laws, to large profit margins and penalties are bit heavy.

The Angolan official, who spoke before delegates from 150 countries, including Heads of State and Government of the world, called for the attention on the fact that crimes against wildlife can pose a serious threat to the rule of law and sustainable development.

The statistics of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Endangered Species (CITES) indicate that the number of African elephants slaughtered by poachers doubled in ten years and reached a figure of 22.000 in 2012.

Another worrying situation evoked by the head of the Angolan delegation to the event is also of rhinos and elephants, animals sacrificed every other eleven hours.

According to Manuel Augusto, trafficking of wildlife has become a company making 10 billion dollars per year, fueled by a growing demand in Asia for ivory products.

He also pointed out that poaching and illegal trade of wildlife is not only a concern of environmentalists and environment protectors, but it is also a responsibility of governments to act together in order to stop this evil, whose statistical figures are threatening.

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