Thursday, 30 October 2014

Good news for Mozambique’s anti-poaching efforts

A historic agreement between the government of Mozambique, Joaquim Chissano Foundation and Peace Parks Foundation will strengthen Mozambique’s efforts to combat wildlife crime by supporting the development of dedicated anti-poaching operations in and around Limpopo National Park, an integral component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and Conservation Area.


The project implementation contracts signed in Maputo on 29 October 2014 follow on the memorandum of understanding between Mozambique and South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs in the field of biodiversity, conservation and management, signed on 19 April 2014. The Department of Environmental Affairs chairs the Rhino Protection Programme Steering Committee, which also includes South African National Parks, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and Peace Parks Foundation.


Mr Werner Myburgh, Peace Parks Foundation CEO explains that the agreements will see current efforts to combat wildlife crime in and around the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park and Conservation Area being expanded, with effectively more efforts on multiple fronts. “Many of the actions will be taken jointly by Mozambique and South Africa. Wildlife crime is often transnational by nature and transfrontier conservation areas and agreements such as these signed today, offer an important platform to counter the decimation of our protected species.”


The project makes provision for the upgrading of field communications technology used by rangers, as well as a shared radio communications systems across the international border. The agreement further includes providing training and equipment to rangers and improving rangers’ working conditions in Limpopo National Park, which abuts Kruger National Park. Together the two parks form a core component of the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park.An essential component of this project entails supporting the judicial system in Mozambique to effectively implement the new Conservation Areas Act that will bring about much stiffer penalties for anyone involved in illicit wildlife product trafficking.


Cooperation with the Mozambican government will also be extended via Peace Parks Foundation’s partnership with the Joaquim Chissano Foundation’s Wildlife Preservation Initiative. This includes launching an anti-poaching and counter-trafficking programme and the deployment of sniffer dogs on trafficking routes. A noteworthy element of this programme is the establishment of research capabilities in Mozambique to support the effectiveness of the programme and policy making.

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