China to support conservation of Africa's wildlife amid threats

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-26 19:45:21|Editor: ZX
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NAIROBI, March 26 (Xinhua) -- China is committed to supporting conservation of Africa's iconic wildlife species amid threats linked to poaching, climatic stress and high rate of urbanization, an official said on Monday.

Peng Youdong, deputy administrator of the National Forestry and Grassland Administration (NGFA) of China said that Beijing has provided funds, technology and expertise to boost wildlife protection in Africa.

"In recent years, China-Africa cooperation in the wildlife conservation has been well developed," said Peng.

"The Chinese government and private sector have provided funds, equipment, manpower and technology to support African countries in the conservation of endangered species and habitats, and conducting capacity building trainings," he added.

Peng spoke in Nairobi during a workshop on addressing wildlife trafficking that was attended by Chinese officials and business executives, senior Kenyan policymakers and representative of international conservation groups.

He said the Chinese government has encouraged its investors and citizens living in Africa to rally behind protection of the continent's wildlife species in line with ecological civilization ethos.

"The Chinese government has successfully raised the awareness of law-abiding among citizens and enterprises, and also actively promoted them to engage in local wildlife conservation and fundamentally eradicate illegal wildlife trade," said Peng.

He had earlier met with Kenya's minister for tourism and wildlife Najib Balala where the two officials pledged to strengthen existing partnership aimed at promoting health of flora and fauna.

Patrick Omondi, director in charge of research and planning in the ministry of tourism and wildlife said that Kenya values stronger ties with China to help reinvigorate conservation of threatened species.

"There is need to work together with China, develop partnership on intelligence sharing and ensure our wildlife is protected. We should also conduct awareness on protecting wildlife," said Omondi.

Omondi urged robust partnership with China to contain illegal trafficking of endangered species like Pangolins.

Margaret Kinnaird, practice leader for wildlife at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) hailed China for leveraging on digital technology and influential celebrities to re-energize the campaign against trafficking of wildlife products from Africa.

"We hope China will partner with African countries to secure transit points," said Kinnaird, adding that Chinese footprint in Africa should move beyond trade and infrastructure development to include protection of biodiversity.

Zhou Fei, chief program officer at WWF China, said that wildlife protection that is a key component of China-Africa cooperation, will have positive impact on livelihoods and ecosystems.