Environmental Crime Unit Established to Control Crimes against Wildlife

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Addis Ababa November 18/2020 (ENA) The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority has established Environmental Crime Unit to control and prevent crimes as well as trafficking of wildlife and wildlife products. 

Presenting quarterly performance of the authority to Agriculture, Pastoralist and Environmental Conservation Affairs Standing Committee today, Wildlife Conservation Authority Director-General Kumera Waqjira said the unit comprises of professionals from relevant bodies, including the Federal Police, Addis Ababa Police, the Attorney General, Interpol, and Ministry of Agriculture.

The recently formed unit has been playing important role in facilitating investigation, controlling and responding crimes against wildlife, he added.

As crime against wildlife is trans-boundary and needs collaboration of neighboring countries, East African countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda and Djibouti, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to control such crimes in the Horn, the director general stated.

Agriculture, Pastoralist and Environmental Conservation Affairs Standing Committee Chairperson, Almaz Meselu urged the authority to enhance public awareness about the importance and significance of wildlife to communities.

She further stressed the need for creating jobs for communities around national parks and wildlife conservation areas to promote wildlife safety.

Illegal wildlife and wildlife products trafficking has endangered the lives of elephants, leopards, warthogs, among others, in the country.