Home Sci-TechEnvironment Nigeria: NCF Intensifies Campaign On Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade

Nigeria: NCF Intensifies Campaign On Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade

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The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) organised workshops tagged ‘Regional Common Action Plan on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) in Abeokuta and Kano to improve awareness on the Illegal Wildlife Trade issue with vulture as target species.

According to NCF, the awareness campaign was to bring to front burner, the common challenges and limitations against enforcement of wildlife laws in Nigeria, sensitise the enforcement and border control agencies on the need to get more knowledge, understand the law and intensify efforts on enforcement.

Illegal wildlife trade as fourth transnational crime in global rating poses threats to biodiversity comprising iconic animals such as elephants, rhinos, leopards and pangolins while birds such as vultures and African grey parrot are not exempted from this threat.

It was revealed that the Nigeria Customs Service, made several seizures by profiling the containers, elephant tusks, pangolin scales, rhino horn. It was also revealed that majority of 1,169 forest reserves in Nigeria suffer neglect, degradation, poaching and are not properly managed.

Some of the challenges against curbing the menace of Illegal Wildlife Trade include shortage of forest guards, high rate of poverty among forest dwellers, over-dependency on the forest resources, lack of modern facilities and equipment to manage the forests and lack of environmental education among Nigerians.

Reviewing the existing laws to make penalties stiffer and enhancing the capacity of law enforcement agencies in proper prosecution were identified as major ways to combat transnational and national illegal wildlife trade in Nigeria. Environmental education, increased awareness campaign, training and re-training of security agents and more were other solutions proffered at the workshops.