Chinese efforts helping reduce Africa's wildlife trafficking: report

Source: Xinhua| 2019-08-23 23:28:42|Editor: huaxia
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Chinese officials and officials from Botswana pose for a group photo during a workshop on curbing wildlife trafficking held in Gaborone, capital of Botswana, March 27, 2019. Botswana and China pledged to work together on combating wildlife crime. (Xinhua)

An African non-profit organization says China's proactive stance against illicit wildlife trafficking in Africa in recent years helps the continent in fighting the crime.

ADDIS ABABA, Aug. 22 (Xinhua) -- China's proactive stance against illicit wildlife trafficking in Africa in recent years has helped shift trends in Africa's wildlife trafficking crime, according to new publication by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS).

The ISS, an African non-profit organization, in its latest weekly publication on Thursday entitled "China is Proving Key to Reducing Africa's Wildlife Trafficking," stressed that "China's proactive stance against illicit wildlife trafficking in Africa in recent years has helped shift trends in this crime."

According to the institute, where cooperation with China has occurred with certain African countries, wildlife smuggling has moved to other parts of the continent.

"This shows that tougher measures are working - and African countries with high rates of trafficking should follow suit," it said.

Noting that China honored its commitment to ending commercial processing and sales of ivory by the end of 2017, the ISS also stressed that China has "tightened legislation on trade in endangered fauna and flora."

Peng Youdong, deputy administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration of China, had also recently stressed that Beijing has provided funds, technology, and expertise to boost wildlife protection in Africa.

"In recent years, China-Africa cooperation in the wildlife conservation has been well-developed," Peng told a recent workshop in Kenya's capital Nairobi on addressing wildlife trafficking.

"Cooperation between African countries and China is a strong deterrent for trafficking ringleaders," the ISS said.

The ISS also quoted Taye Teferi, Africa policy and partnership coordinator of the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC, saying that "cooperation between African countries and China provide a strong deterrence for kingpins or ringleaders."

"This is mainly due to the fear of extradition to China, where culprits could face stiffer penalties and even the death penalty," the institute said, as it also urged "Cameroon and Nigeria should exchange intelligence information with China on criminal networks."

The institute also urged Central and West African countries "to move fast to block the networks of wildlife criminals who are rapidly infiltrating these regions."

"Once Africa has bolstered itself against wildlife criminals across all regions through successful cooperation with China, the same model can be applied to other markets in Asia," said the report.

"Japan, for example, is another major market for wildlife products, as are other minor Asian destinations such as Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos," the ISS said in the report.