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Two African Nations Tighten Control Over Ivory Poaching
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African Nations are upping the pressure in their fight against poachers now that Central African nation Gabon has announced it will burn its entire stockpile of ivory – to prevent any dissemination into the black market – and now that West African Nation Cameroon has intensified its fines and terms on poachers.

This is a Cameroon’s response to the unprecedented increase in elephant poaching last year, with much of the ivory going to Thailand and China.

Both nations are working with the World Wildlife Fund, which recently had a conference in Gabon. Gabon has created a a network of 13 national parks, covering an area about 1.5 times the size of Yellowstone Park. WWF has been working there since 1992.

  
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“Gabon is demonstrating how domestic ivory supplies can be regulated, given the political will to do so,” said Stephanie Ringuet, who is Central African director of TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network.

“If Gabon’s lead is replicated region-wide, we could see real progress being made in tackling elephant poaching and putting the criminal syndicates behind it out of business.”

Such actions follow Gabon President Ali Bongo’s decision in 2011 to create a military unit especially to protect wildlife against ivory poachers.

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“An inter-agency, coupled to a regional approach and international collaboration is vital to combat poaching in Central Africa and we must act now,” said the WWF Country Director in Gabon, Suparna Biswas.





 

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