WAF Requests Collaboration In Combating Forest And Wildlife Crime
In a statement released in honour of World Wildlife Day the group noted that Nigeria is home to some of the most famous animals in the world, including elephants, lions, and gorillas.
To protect Nigeria’s biodiversity, Wild Africa Fund (WAF) has urged the government and conservation groups to work together to combat forest and wildlife crime.
In a statement released in honour of World Wildlife Day, an annual celebration of the value of wildlife, the group noted that Nigeria is home to some of the most famous animals in the world, including elephants, lions, and gorillas.
However, illegal activities like poaching, deforestation, and the trade in illegal wildlife have endangered these animals, endangering their very existence. Additionally, Nigeria has developed into a major hub for the illegal trade in pangolin scales and ivory.
The emphasis of this year’s theme, “Partnerships for Wildlife,” is on the crucial role that partnerships play in safeguarding and preserving wildlife for the conservation of biodiversity.
It is crucial to preserve these species and their habitats not only for their own survival but also for the ecosystem’s health, the host communities’ way of life, and the survival of these species. WAF pledged to protect Nigeria’s wildlife, but it understands that this cannot be done on its own.
Everybody has a responsibility. We can have a greater impact and guarantee a brighter future for wildlife in Africa and beyond by collaborating with the government, international and local Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the media, and local communities, according to WAF founder Peter Knights. The best chance we have to guarantee that Nigeria’s natural resources are preserved for future generations is through cooperation.
With funding from the US Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the UK Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund, WAF is working with organisations like the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) and Africa Nature Investors Foundation (ANI) to support the Nigerian government in updating its wildlife laws and battling illegal wildlife trade.
As evidence of the organisations’ and government’s commitment to wildlife conservation, the Endangered Species Conservation and Protection Bill passed its first reading in the Federal House of Representatives in February 2023.
EIA stated that it is proud of its long-standing collaborations with governmental organisations, civil society groups, and public institutions like the banking and financial sectors, all of which are essential to combating wildlife trafficking.
“Nigeria is taking decisive steps to improve its law enforcement and criminal justice response to wildlife crime, which, if sustained, will have a lasting impact across the continent, ensuring a future for all species affected by wildlife and forest crime,” says Justin Gosling, senior project coordinator for the EIA’s Securing Criminal Justice programme.
“This new legislation will be critical to enabling Nigeria to decisively tackle the illegal trade in wildlife and will demonstrate to the world that the country can be a leader on the African continent for an issue that affects all Nigerians and, in fact, all of us as human beings,” says Tunde Morakinyo, executive director of ANI.
WAF is collaborating with the Amo Farm Sieberer Hatchery Limited (AFSH) to supply Noiler chickens to hunters and bushmeat sellers in Lagos to end the sale of pangolins and other wildlife in the markets.
It is also partnering with the Nigerian media to improve the coverage of wildlife conservation issues in Nigeria and change the attitude of the Nigerian people towards protecting and promoting wildlife. Through their work with local communities, governments, and other conservation organizations, WAF is making strides towards a future where humans and wildlife can thrive together.