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Tue, 11 Sep 2018 17:29 - Updated Tue, 11 Sep 2018 17:29

Cabinda: Government assesses poaching in Maiombe park

Luanda - The Ministry of Environment will launch a diagnosis of poaching in National Park of Maiombe, far-northern Cabinda province, under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

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Elephant among targeted species

The move is meant to strengthen the legislative framework for the implementation of CITES and application of the law on crime against wildlife in Angola, said Tuesday the director of the National Institute of Biodiversity and Conservation Areas, Aristófanes Fontes.

Fontes told Angop that the programme is also aimed at protecting endangered species listed by CITES, which fall victim to poaching in the National Park of Maiombe.

They include those that may enter the illegal traffic markets.

"They are the African gray parrot, the leopard, the white-bellied pangolin, and the giant pangolin," he said.

Also benefiting from the project are the central chimpanzee, the lowland gorilla and the forest elephant. These species face similar risks by sharing the same habitat, stressed the official.

The project covers specific activities such as strengthening the legislative framework for the implementation of CITES and enforcement of wildlife crime law.

They include  improvement of specific training that develop national capacity and effectiveness in implementing CITES, as well as developing a licensing system and a database of law enforcement.

In 2016, Angola issued a number of wildlife-related decrees and closed one of the largest markets that traded ivory and other wildlife (alive and produce) for sale in Benfica, Luanda.

These actions, Aristófanes Fontes added, demonstrate the commitment and necessary political will of the Angolan government to face up the global crisis of wildlife trafficking.

He stressed that the project will focus on recent efforts, including the creation of the Wildlife Unit in Angola (WCU) and the adoption of an Action Plan for Wildlife Crimes, ensuring a conducive environment for implementation of CITES and convictions for wildlife crime.

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