Chinese efforts helping reduce Africa’s wildlife trafficking: report

ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 23,
(Xinhua/GNA) – China’s proactive stance against illicit wildlife trafficking in
Africa in recent years has helped shift trends in Africa’s wildlife trafficking
crime, according to a new publication by the Institute for Security Studies
(ISS).

The ISS, an African
non-profit organization, in its latest weekly publication on Thursday entitled
“China is Proving Key to Reducing Africa’s Wildlife Trafficking”,
stressed that “China’s proactive stance against illicit wildlife
trafficking in Africa in recent years has helped shift trends in this
crime”.

According to the
institute, where cooperation with China has occurred with certain African
countries, wildlife smuggling has moved to other parts of the continent.

“This shows
that tougher measures are working – and African countries with high rates of
trafficking should follow suit,” it said.

Noting that China,
since 2017, has closed its domestic ivory market and banned commercial
processing of rhino horns and tiger bones, the ISS also stressed that China has
“tightened legislation on trade in endangered fauna and flora”.

Peng Youdong, deputy
administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NGFA) of
China, had also recently stressed that Beijing had provided funds, technology,
and expertise to boost wildlife protection in Africa.

“In recent
years, China-Africa cooperation in the wildlife conservation has been well
developed,” Peng told a recent workshop in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, on
addressing wildlife trafficking.

“Cooperation
between African countries and China is a strong deterrent for trafficking
ringleaders,” the ISS said.

The ISS also quoted
Taye Teferi, Africa policy and partnership coordinator of the wildlife trade
monitoring network TRAFFIC, saying that “cooperation between African
countries and China provide a strong deterrence for kingpins or
ringleaders”.

“This is mainly
due to the fear of extradition to China, where culprits could face stiffer
penalties and even the death penalty,” the institute said, as it also
urged “Cameroon and Nigeria should exchange intelligence information with
China on criminal networks”.

The institute also
urged Central and West African countries “to move fast to block the
networks of wildlife criminals who are rapidly infiltrating these
regions”.

“Once Africa
has bolstered itself against wildlife criminals across all regions through
successful cooperation with China, the same model can be applied to other
markets in Asia,” said the report.

“Japan, for
example, is another major market for wildlife products, as are other minor
Asian destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos,” the ISS said in
the report. 

GNA

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