July 19, 2011 – Wednesday July 20th 2011 marks the first ever African Elephant Law Enforcement Day, which fosters cooperation to combat elephant poaching and ivory trafficking in Africa.
Spearheaded by the Lusaka Agreement Task Force for Co-operative Enforcement Operations Directed at Illegal Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora (LATF) in Kenya, the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies in Japan, and the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) at the University of Twente in the Netherlands; the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) will be launched in Africa.
The WEMS will strengthen information and reporting processes as well as the monitoring of illegal wildlife trade at national and regional levels. Through building a common data collection and streamlining the reporting mechanism, the WEMS will be an information sharing platform that will be able to map wildlife crime trends and threat assessments.
“This is an important milestone towards achieving the ultimate objective to create an information center of wildlife crime in Africa by pooling data on illegal trade from various national agencies in the region,” stresses Mr. Bonaventure Ebayi the Director of LATF, at the launch of the Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System in Nairobi, Kenya on Monday.
Yes, Poaching Still Exists Today
Despite tighter restrictions and bans, illegal poaching and the ivory trade is still claiming thousands of endangered wildlife.
From souvenirs to jewellery, elephant tusks have been driving an underground ivory economy. In 2010, a total of 7,901kg of elephant tusks disguised in packages originating from Kenya were confiscated.
Disposing Of Contraband Ivory in Manyani
As July 20th celebrates the African Elephant Law Enforcement Day, it seems fitting that 7.2 tonnes of contraband ivory originating from South Africa seized in Singapore in June 2002 will be disposed of at the KWS Field Training School in Manyani, Kenya.
PHOTOBLOG: Launch of 1st African Elephant Law Enforcement Day
Photo Credits Susan Wong © All rights reserved.