Efforts to eliminate illegal wildlife trade set in motion
By BUUMBA CHIMBULU in Harare
A NUMBER of programmes are currently being implemented in 10 Sub Saharan African countries by the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) in an effort to eliminate illegal wildlife trade, and ensure that development is inclusive and green.
The foundation is also confident that the African continent is on track to become the next global economic powerhouse driven by recent investments.
The approach for AWF is to engage and support leadership at all levels in efforts to stabilise wildlife habitats, protect wildlife and wild lands, eliminate illegal wildlife trade, and to ensure that development is inclusive and green.
This is according to the AWF Zimbabwe Country Director, Olivia Mufute, at an Advanced Training on Environmental Journalism in the Modern Age workshop in Harare yesterday.
Ms Mufute indicated that AWF was therefore implementing programmes targeted at protecting the wildlife and its illegal trade.
“Our mission is to ensure that wildlife and wild lands thrive in a modern Africa. We are currently implementing programmes in 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa including Zimbabwe.
“To achieve our mission, we work within Africa at scale, but also at a global level with partners that include national governments, institutions and individuals throughout the world,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ms Mufute stressed that the recent high growth rates and increased foreign investment had given rise to the popular idea that the continent was on track to become the next global economic powerhouse – the lion economies,
“It is very encouraging to see Africa undergo a revolutionary change right under our eyes -influenced by economic growth, massive new investments, increasing mobility, urbanisation, and democratisation,” she stated.
She said the way food was produced and consumed, the choice of energy, the blatant disregard for the environment entrenched in current economic model, was pushing Africa to the limits of the continent.
Ms Mufute admitted that the rapid economic and human population growth had come at a very high ecological cost.
She said while efforts were being made to attract huge investments and financial capital, the same care was often not being taken to preserve our natural capital.