LATF participates in the 24th Kenya/Tanzania Wildlife Officers Cross Border Security Meeting in Tanga, Tanzania: 16th – 18th July, 2013

In enhancing transnational interagency collaboration among national bureaus, the Lusaka Agreement Task Force participated in the 24th Kenya/Tanzania wildlife officers cross border security meeting held from 16 – 18 July 2013 at Tanga beach resort in the United Republic of Tanzania. As usual, the meeting brought together Wildlife Officers from Tanzania and Kenya and discussed pertinent issues related to wildlife conservation and security across the two sister countries especially along their common borders. In his opening remarks the Region Administrative Secretary for Tanga Mr. Benedict Olekuyani urged the countries to deepen their bilateral cooperation and jointly put in appropriate measures to combat poaching and trafficking in wildlife resources. Mr. Rwegasira, representing the Director of the Lusaka Agreement Task Force shared LATF’s appreciation to be associated with the forum over the 14 years of its existence. He urged the forum to also use the Wildlife Directors Forum initiated by LATF to champion cross border conservation issues for enhancing policy and decision making processes between the two sister countries. Mr. John Ringera representing the Director of Kenya Wildlife Service noted that the meeting was held at the right time in the aftermath of the CITES CoP16 which had passed landmark decisions adopted by consensus by CITES member states to combat wildlife crime. This followed the decision taken by the CITES Standing Committee that grouped China, Kenya, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Uganda, the United Republic of Tanzania and Vietnam to be the primary source, transit and import countries affected by illegal trade in ivory. These eight countries were requested to take urgent measures to put their plans into practice to combat illegal trade in ivory before July 2014, when the CITES Standing Committee will review their implementation. He emphasized that the cross border meeting between the two countries presented an opportunity to jointly plan and strategize to effectively combat the escalating illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn in the region.

The meeting discussed various issues and subsequently adopted various resolutions which included among other issues combating the increasing elephant and rhino poaching and subsequent illegal trade in ivory and rhino horn, addressing human – animal conflicts along the common borders and finding solutions to the frequent livestock incursions in the wildlife protected areas in both countries. This forum will remain among top priorities of LATF together with others such as enhancing working mechanisms among Lusaka agreement member states and urging governments, technical and development partners to continue providing their support to the initiative.


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