TRAFFIC: News summary regarding illegal trade of wildlife from Central Africa
The keys points are: (1) -Record-breaking Global petition to protect cross River Gorillas (The Green Vision N°0002, Monday 29 July 2013, page 12) (2) Illegal ape traders perk up trafficking skills (Eric KABA TAH , The Green Vision N°0002, Monday 29 July 2013, page 08) (3) The battle to save Mt. Cameroon’s Rich Biodiversity (ASA’A LEMAWAH , The Green Vision N°0002 Monday 29 July, 2013 page 07) (4) Burundi: 28 kg of Ivory Seized at Bujumbura International Airport (Central African network of environment communicators - Victor Mubwigiri - Claver Hakizimana - Epimaque Buterere Nikobitungwa 28 July 2013) (5) Braconnage en Afrique : éléphants sans défense (Olivier CASLIN, Jeune Afrique N° 2741 pages 22-28 or www.jeune afrique.com : Braconnage en Afrique : éléphants sans défense)
Yaoundé, Cameroon-on July 18, 2013 a petition with almost 75,000signatures has been delivered to the Cameroon Minister of Forestry and Wildlife his Excellency, Ngwese Philip and Prime Minister of Cameroon, His Excellency Philemon Yang. The signers expressed their deep concern over the senselessly violent murder of a male cross river Gorilla in March in North west Cameroon. The kiliing of this silverback gorilla was ordered by the Chief of Gendarmerie Brigade based in Pinyin, about 33 km away from a proposed gorilla sanctuary. The death of this gorilla remains a very big loss not just to Cameroon and local conservation efforts, but to the conservation world at large and resulted in a global outcry. Within a few months, thousands of people sent letters and emails and signed the online petition. The petition received almost 75,000 signatures from 196 countries-virtually every country in the world. “This phemonemenal response shows that people are overwhelming against the killing of this critically endangered species”, says Arend de Haas, Director of the African Conservation Foundation. “It is one of the most successful internet petition campaigns for great apes ever.” Global citizens urge the Cameroon Government to : 1- Accelerate the Great Ape Reserves in the Lebialem Highlands; - 2- Sensitize and train Police and others Armed Forces concerning critically endangered species; - 3- Define strict procedures for local authorities to follow in responding to wildlife issues; and - 4- Implement fines and penalties for the murder of Cross River Gorillas and other globally threatened species.
Cross Rivers gorillas are Africa’s rarest and most threatened ape and it belongs to the world’s 25 most threatened wildlife species. Only about 300 of them survive in the Nigeria – Cameroon border region.
TCAF (TRAFFIC Central Africa) with regards to the second recommendation, has already anticipated in his activities: From the 29 October to the 2nd November 2012, TCAF delivered targeted CITES/ETIS interventions during a one week WWF Cameroon’s training programme (Mutengene, Cameroon, October-November 2012) that contribute strengthening 2000 police staff capacity to identify, respond to and successfully prosecute illegal trade in flagship species. TCAF contacted the Director of ENEF Mbalmayo to explore possibilities to deliver targeted CITES/ETIS modules to students as this would contribute to strengthen the capacity of future law enforcement personnel in identifying, responding to and successfully prosecuting wildlife offenders. Please find more...
2. ILLEGAL APE TRADERS PERK UP TRAFFICKING SKILLS ((Eric KABA TAH , The Green Vision N°0002 Monday 29 July 2013, page 08) Great apes trafficking may have been raised to a high profile professional illegal activity on the African continent. This is demonstrated by the manner in which powerful traffickers use perfected operational skills running the illicit trade alongside other illegal activity such as the trade in drugs. Please download the article...
3. THE BATTLE TO SAVE MT. CAMEROON’S RICH BIODIVERSITY (ASA’A LEMAWAH , The Green Vision N°0002 Monday 29 July 2013, page 07)
Each year, the Mt. Cameroon forest area falls to deforestation, the chain saw of indiscriminate logging, commercial hunters’ guns and the snares of trappers. Though recently a portion of the forest area was designated a national park (Mt. Cameroon National Park) and forest reserves created in Mokoko ad Southern Bakundu (Mokoko Forest Reserve), the mountain’s rich biodiversity continues to decline. The Mt. Cameroon forest is divided into the montane and lowland forests. The Western slope of the Mt. Cameroon forest is probably the most diverse and richest in West and Central Africa. The forest also contains a host of NTFPs which are harvested for food and medicine. Species exploited include Irvingia gabonensis (sweet bush mango), Irvingia wombulu(bitter bush mango), Afrostyrax kamerunensis(bush onion) and Piper guineensis(West African bush pepper).In addition to several timber species, there are also medicinal plants such as the Prunus Africana(Pygeum) and Anickia sp.(Quinine stick). The most pressing environmental problem within the Mt. Cameroon forest is the loss of its biodiversity caused by over hunting and deforestation.
Hunting is mostly carried out in the form of shooting and trapping. This was a previously accepted activity and animals killed were used mainly for subsistence. Nowadays with commercialization, the number of animal killed is alarming. This has an adverse reaction on the environment. For example the reduction of seed dispersal due to the diminishing numbers of animals acting as carriers. This jeopardizes the survival of some plant species.
There is also unrestrained habitat destruction through commercial logging and the collection of firewood. The largest agro-industry in the country, Cameroon Development Corporation, (CDC)... Please find more...
4-BURUNDI: 28 KG OF IVORY SEIZED AT BUJUMBURA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (Central African network of environment communicators - Victor Mubwigiri - Claver Hakizimana - Epimaque Buterere Nikobitungwa 28 July 2013).
The Burundian National Police announced on Monday 29 July the seizure on Saturday, 27 July of 28 kg of ivory at Bujumbura International Airport. They were carried by a man from Guinea Conakry living in Burundi. At a press conference held on Monday morning concerning the issue, the national police deputy spokesperson, opc1 Pierre NKURIKIYE, indicated that the dealer, Allassane Kaba, was being questioned in order to identify the source of his booty and his accomplices up and downstream. In order to evade the vigilance of the police, Kaba transformed the ivory into jewellery for ladies and tied it carefully in a bag. According to a reliable source, the seized ivory likely is from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), bordering Burundi where there is no elephant since 2004. Find more...
5- BRACONNAGE EN AFRIQUE : ELEPHANTS SANS DEFENSE (Olivier CASLIN, Jeune Afrique N° 2741 pages 22-28 or www.jeune afrique.com : Braconnage en Afrique : éléphants sans défense)
The 2741 edition of “Jeune Afrique” a weekly african magazine presents an investigation into the poaching of elephants in Africa. Symbol of Africa, elephants may disappear within twenty years. The ivory is scarce and its market value increases. A boon for poachers and criminal organizations ...
Read more on www.jeuneafrique.com: Braconnage en Afrique : éléphants sans défense
For more information, please contact Mrs. Louisette Ngo Yebel <Louisette.Ngo-Yebel@traffic.org>.
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