An international meeting organized by the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals under the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/CMS) called for better enforcement of wildlife law in the ten countries in Africa with gorilla populations.
For the first time ever, UN agencies, national governments in the region, local wildlife authorities, non-governmental organizations and international experts came together this week at a two-day meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, to deal with wildlife crime threatening endangered gorillas.
Government officials, the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), INTERPOL, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) as well as the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, among others, joined CMS in reviewing the current conservation activities affectingthe four sub-species of gorillas in East and Central Africa, and discussed solutions to address the major threat of commercial poaching for bushmeat and live trade in gorillas.
CMS Executive Secretary Elizabeth Maruma Mrema said: “Joint efforts to apply wildlife law are important because gorillas play a key role in the ecology of Africa’s forests. Their loss has an impact on the health of the whole ecosystem and, by extension, on everyone who lives in or benefits from these forests.
”Local, national and international law enforcement efforts are essential to protect gorillas and their rainforest habitat. The UN is already working closely with INTERPOL and national governments to curb the trade in live apes, bushmeat as well as the illegal harvesting of timber.
INTERPOL offered its global network of national offices to help combat wildlife crime relating to gorilla and other endangered species. More....