SPREAD THE WORD AWF Emphasizes African Leadership at Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference

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The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) is doubling down on our commitment to support African governments and local communities to fight the threat of poaching.

Speaking in London ahead of the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference (October 11 and 12), Mr. Sebunya said poaching and illegal trade in wildlife products posed an acute threat to Africa’s rich heritage and future development.

“We need more resources and new alliances to combat this threat. Soaring demand for illegal wildlife products is emptying forests and savannahs of key species, undermining efforts to put in place good governance and sustainable development. This conference is a good starting point for strengthening partnerships across borders,” he said.

Mr. Sebunya said while the international efforts to disrupt markets in illegal wildlife products, such as the Ivory Alliance being launched by the U.K. Government this week are critical, the IWT agenda in Africa must be led — and owned — by Africans.

“The trade routes trace back to decisions taken on the ground and while we are focusing this week on the commodities traded from dead wildlife, our interest is in seeing the living species remain part of modern Africa. We know from our work that leadership at every level — from the families living in wildlife-rich areas to the heads of state — is an essential ingredient,” Mr.Sebunya said.