Speaking at the African Development Bank’s annual meetings President of the Bank, Donald Kaberuka and WWF International Director General Jim Leape call for governments and other institutions to combat the rampant illicit wildlife trafficking scourge that is robbing Africa of precious natural resources.
“Wildlife crime is a serious crime, and it is not just the rhinos and elephants that are in danger – there are grave implications also for national security, the rule of law and the wellbeing of communities across Africa. Action is needed now at the highest levels if we are to bring this crisis under control,” said Jim Leape.
AfDB spurs sustainable economic development and social progress, thereby reducing poverty, in its 54 regional member countries – by mobilising and allocating resources for investment, and providing policy advice and technical assistance to support development efforts.
While WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organizations, with over 5 million supporters and a global network active in over 100 countries with mission to stop the degradation of the Earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature.
“Illicit wildlife trafficking is a wrong that we must relentlessly resist – our people, our natural resources and our very economic development are at risk,” said Donald Kaberuka, AfDB President. “I call on leaders across Africa and beyond to invest in our region’s future by doing all they can to strengthen law enforcement and criminal justice for these crimes.”
Wildlife crime also featured in a United Nations Security Council gathering yesterday in New York where UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon released a report on illicit wildlife trafficking being a serious crime needing urgent attention.
The AfDB annual meetings run until Friday May 31, 2013 in Marrakech, Morocco, under the theme of “Africa’s structural transformation”. The AfDB-WWF side event on illicit wildlife trafficking takes place on Thursday 30th May at 19.00-20.30 local time.