Govt scores success in curbing hunting

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Govt scores success in curbing hunting
Lusaka, February 15, 2014, ZANIS…Tourism Minister Sylvia Masebo says the Zambian Government has scored successes in fighting illegal wildlife hunting and trafficking.

Ms Masebo told the London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade that government has put in place a range of measures that are delivering remarkable results in the crusade against illegal wildlife hunting and trafficking.

The Tourism Minister in her submission to the conference made available in a statement to ZANIS in Lusaka today, said one of the most significant measures introduced last year include the suspension of hunting concessions in order to increase the number of wildlife especially the big cats.

She pointed out that Zambia is in the process of strengthening the institutions responsible for wildlife management.

Ms Masebo said although the scope of international initiatives for environmental conservation is vast, Zambia is geared towards combating the criminal aspects of wildlife trafficking and sharing law enforcement information for the purpose of criminal investigations and prosecutions.

She said the capacity to detect and prevent illegal trade in wildlife among officials in the sector is also being enhanced.

Ms Masebo also revealed that Zambia is striving to achieve a solution that balances human and wildlife needs by developing sustainable eco-tourism.

She said to do this government is promoting alternative livelihood strategies that are being undertaken with the involvement of the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The Tourism Minister said Zambia is eliminating practices such as snares which are indiscriminate killers of wildlife under the Poachers-turned-Protectors Programme.

She said farmers who turn in their illegal snares and guns are in return being trained in farming, beekeeping and other livelihood skills.

Ms Masebo said under the Conservation Cotton Initiative, Zambia is promoting the development of organic Cotton farming around high biodiversity areas, a programme that helps enhance incomes and economic development and improves resources management while protecting wildlife at the same time.

And Ms Masebo has held a bilateral meeting with the United Kingdom Minister for International Development Lynne Featherstone tackling a range of tourism issues of mutual interest to Zambia and UK.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said he believed the unprecedented high level event in London will turn out to be a historical conference and a turning point in the fight against illegal trade which is worth up to 12 billion Pounds a year.

The London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade which ended on Thursday was held at Lancaster House in London and was attended by Prince Charles and his sons Prince William and Prince Harry. Others were Heads of States from Botswana, Gabon, Chad, Tanzania and other high level dignitaries from 46 countries.