Obama announces $10 million initiative to fight wildlife trafficking in Africa

wildlife africa

On his visit in Tanzania yesterday, President Obama launched an initiative aimed at combating illegal wildlife trafficking and curbing widespread poaching of rhinos and elephants in Africa. Launched under an executive order, the program calls for the State Department to provide $10 million in technical assistance and training in Kenya, South Africa, and the sub-Saharan region, where elephant and rhino populations have plummeted at alarming rates. Three million dollars will go to South Africa, $3 million to Kenya and $4 million elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa.

The hunting of elephants, rhinos, sharks and other species in developing nations for sale to wealthier countries is valued at $7 billion to $10 billion per year, placing it among drugs and human trafficking as one of the world’s top illegal markets.

praises from conservationists

“We applaud President Obama’s executive order to elevate the US government’s engagement in the fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade.The president’s decision to prioritize the issue will hopefully save hundreds of lives of people on the frontline of this battle, and also save hundreds of thousands of individual animals exploited by this brutal trade.”

— the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IAFW)

source: The Whitehouse