LATF participates in the 12th Annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum in Livingstone, Zambia


Government and NGO representatives that participated in the 12th AWCF at Zambezi Sun hotel in Livingstone- Zambia

At the invitation of the Zambia Wildlife Authority (ZAWA) and the Safari Club International Foundation (SCIF) the Lusaka Agreement Task Force (LATF) participated in the 12th annual African Wildlife Consultative Forum (AWCF) held at Zambezi Sun hotel in Livingstone, Zambia from 4 – 8th November 2013. LATFs’ participation at this forum was an important opportunity to promote its’ agenda among the participants which included Conservation leaders from wildlife management authorities from nine (9) African states comprising  Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as representatives from the safari hunting industry, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s) and wildlife science sectors. In the same vein the initiative provided an appropriate avenue for the Lusaka Agreement National Bureau in Zambia (Zambia Wildlife Authority- ZAWA), to advocate for increased membership to the Agreement being a proven regional mechanism in fostering co-operation among African states in the fight against illegal trade in wild fauna and flora. The forum is held annually on rotational basis in countries in Southern Africa to enhance conservation and sustainable management of wildlife. The AWCF is supported by the Safari Club International Foundation.

Mr Edward Phiri, who was representing the Director of LATF at the Forum made a presentation on the Lusaka Agreement and activities of the Task Force. This provided the delegates with an insight on the need for regional collaboration and cooperation in wildlife law enforcement in Africa and calling for more countries to accede to the Lusaka Agreement. Accordingly, the presentation was well received and generated a lot of   interest, discussions, questions and comments from participating countries and NGO’s which were adequately addressed by the LATF representative. His Royal Highness Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta II also the Chairperson of the Technical and Operations Committee of the Zambia Wildlife Authority Board, who officially opened the meeting was very appreciative of the Lusaka Agreement’s achievements and urged LATF to continue highlighting the successes and benefits of the Lusaka Agreement at different forums to enable more countries accede to it.

A call was made for more countries to accede to the Lusaka Agreement in order to obtain full benefits of the Agreement, strengthen and expand this long term running wildlife enforcement network in Africa.
During the forum, various other presentations on conservation and sustainable management of wildlife were made to the AWCF delegates by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the CITES Secretariat, Professional Hunters Associations and all government representatives at the forum. Two Lion experts Dr. Ikanda from Tanzania and Dr. Paula White of the Zambia Lion project also made presentations on the status of the African lion (Panthera leo) in Africa.  The output of the meeting included recommendations for the implementation of President Barack Obama’s Executive Order for combating Wildlife Trafficking.  It was recommended that the report and recommendations will be handed over to the Co-Chairs of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife trafficking in the USA.

The SCI Foundation pledged to continue funding the AWCF and various initiatives which were recommended by government representatives such as managing the economic review on consumptive and non-consumptive tourism. The Zambia Wildlife Authority called for increased regional and interagency collaboration among law enforcement agencies and stakeholders to manage the challenges of increased levels of poaching mainly targeting the elephant and rhino. The use of deadly chemicals like cyanide and poisonous agro chemicals was cited as one of the most worrying emerging threats that required appropriate responses in terms of policing strategies. The Lusaka Agreement Task Force welcomes such pronouncements and will continue working closely with its National Bureaus, Governments, NGOs and stakeholders in implementing effective strategies towards combating wildlife crime.


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