Press Release: Boost for CITES’ effort to halt elephant poaching in Zimbabwe
Geneva, 16 May 2018 – A Strategic Anti-Poaching Operations Centre located in the Chewore Safari Area in Zimbabwe was handed over by Japanese Embassador, Toshiyuki Iwado, to the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority today. The centre serves as a post for field rangers conducting operations, and has significantly strengthened the Wildlife Management Authority’s capacity to address current and emerging threats impacting this important site of the CITES ‘MIKE’ programme to monitor levels of illegal killing of elephants.
The Chewore Safari Area, a World Heritage Site, is one of the last truly wild ecosystems left in the world. This area provides shelter for immense congregations of Africa’s large mammal populations, which concentrate on its flood plains. However, this site faces a real threat from poaching and, in recent years, elephants have come under increasing pressure. In 2016, seven elephants were poached between January and July in this area alone. In this context, the capability of the Zimbabwe authorities in keeping surveillance over, and preventing elephant poaching in the area has been enhanced through the establishment of the Centre, allowing for better and more secure planning and management of patrol activities by the rangers.
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