Weak laws, cause of wildlife trafficking, trade in Nigeria, says WCS
Weak and obsolete laws are causes of increasing incidents of wildlife trafficking in Nigeria, according to the Programme Advisor, Wildlife Conservative Society of Nigeria (WCS), Elijah Bello.
Bello stated this at a one-day Capacity Building Workshop on Combating Illegal Wildlife Trafficking and Trade, organised for staff of National Environmental Standard Regulatory Agency of Nigeria (NESRA) in Calabar, Cross River Stat
He explained that this can be achieved if the laws regulating wildlife trafficking in the country is strengthened to punish to violators.
He said: “When we look at wildlife trafficking, the risk is low because of the weaker laws we have in place. We want government and other relevant stakeholders to step in and strengthen the policies and the laws we have in the land so that the risk will increase. And, how can we improve it? Imagine if somebody kills a chimpanzee or gorilla and you sentence him to five years imprisonment without option, nobody else will tend to kill a chimpanzee again.”
Earlier, the Country Director, Nigeria Programme, WCS, Andrew Dunn, said the training, which was sponsored by Biodiversity Challenge Fund, in partnership with WCS, Nigeria, was aimed at preparing the participants intellectually, psychologically and otherwise, for the duty enforcement.
Also speaking on the sidelines of the workshop, the Cross River State Coordinator of NESRA, Mr. Adamu Ibrahim, said the training was quite timely and effective.
The NESRA boss said much was expected from the agency to safeguard the country’s wildlife species.
“We are participating in this workshop to ensure the conservation of our biodiversity. We have a duty to protect our wildlife so that they don’t go into extinction,” he said