China strengthens fight against wildlife crime

Herd of elephants PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Herd of elephants PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES

The deputy administrator of National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NPGA) in China, Peng Youdong has revealed that his country has made directives on strengthening endangered species conservation and combating wildlife crime.

Peng also said China had established a regulatory system based on the Wild Animal Protection Law, the Wild Plant Protection Regulations, and the Regulation on Import and Export of Endangered Species.

“Wildlife is a important part of the nature’s ecosystem, and it plays an irreplaceable role in maintaining national ecological security, promoting sustainable development and inheriting human culture,” he said.

“Our government required that the relationship between population, resources and environment must be properly handled in a balanced manner, law enforcement must be strengthened, and wildlife trafficking must be tackled.”

Peng added that a series of key projects on the ecological construction had been implemented in order to improve wildlife habitats, which has reversed the decreasing trend of some species.

He revealed that wildlife populations of giant panda, Tibetan antelope, giant salamanders and many other species have been on the rise.

He also said the trade controls in China were more restricted than the international conventions; that is the banning the trade in rhino horn and tiger bone, suspending ivory imports and banning the ivory processing and sales completely in the country.

Due to the determination to fight illegal hunting, transportation, business operation and exploitation of wildlife, he said wildlife crime cases substantially decreased, especially the seizure of ivory and rhino horn trafficking.        

“The public’s awareness of conservation and compliance has significantly been enhanced through advocacy activities, such as the World Wildlife Day, Love Birds and Wild Protection Month. Although we have achieved significant progress, we still face many challenged in the protection of wildlife,” he said.

“Due to the growing population and intensified human activities, the impact on environment is increasing and the habitats of some wild animals and plants are destroyed and reduced. At the same time, both outside and within China, poaching, illegal exploitation and smuggling of endangered species occur.”

Furthermore, he pointed out that Africa was not only a tourist destination, but also a haven for endangered species. He said Botswana is a beautiful country with elephants, rhinos and other species.

Pen was speaking Wednesday at a workshop on addressing wildlife trafficking held at the Chinese Embassy.

The workshop attracted stakeholders such as the NPGA, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resource Conservation and Tourism.

It followed bilateral meetings between China’s President Xi and Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi at Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) last year.

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