Illegal Wildlife Trade: Nigeria, China to strengthen bilateral relations

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From: AgroNature Admin

THE Federal Government and China are set to strengthen bilateral relations to tackle illegal wildlife trade in line with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

This was the highpoint of a meeting between the two delegations led by the Minister of Environment Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor and the representatives of Chinese CITIES Management Authority (CMA).

Saghir el- Mohammed, in a statement revealed that the Abubakar emphasized on the need for both countries to work together towards addressing the cancerous issue of illegal International wildlife trade, which according to him traffickers have exploited.

He said the criminals exposed both nations to some of the unwholesome practices despite efforts to defend the endangered species.

Ikeazor, while reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to the fight against illegal wildlife trade, noted that Nigeria joined other 182 nations to sign and ratify the International Convention on CITIES in 1974 and to give Municipal credence to this Convention, the nation promulgated the Endangered Species Decree No. 11 in 1985, which is now enacted as Endangered Species Act 2016.

She reaffirmed the Ministry’s role as focal point of CITIES implementation in Nigeria and its commitment to conserve wild Species which she observed, were now almost driven into extinction due to over exploitation, habitat change and illicit trafficking.

“This is why Nigeria established National Parks across the country in an effort to safeguard the surviving endangered species,” she stated, and urging the delegation to visit a park before departing the country to enable them to have a firsthand experience on Nigeria’s effort at safeguarding the endangered animals.

The Minister, however, restated commitments to ensure government put measures in place for proper enforcement, compliance and implementation of the regulations.

“Ikeazoh Praised China for taking the leading role in the preservation of wildlife with all kinds of species, and thanked the Chinese National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NAFGA) for supporting Nigeria’s manpower development in the compliance and implementation of wildlife management and CITES policy,” the statement read.

The Chinese Team Leader and NAFGA Vice Administrator, Li Shumings applauded the partnership with assurance of increased efforts to prioritise the bilateral relationship in wildlife conservation.

He added that Chinese government is paying more attention to wildlife preservation by setting up the National Park Authority, adding that they have 10 National Parks in their country.

“we have about 1,864 pandas and 293 elephants in these parks”.

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