Windhoek – The British High Commission in South Africa will week this week host a workshop for regional customs.
Starting on 31 January until 1 February 2018 in Johannesburg, the workshop will include six SADC countries namely Angola, Mozambique, Namibia Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Hans-Christian Mahnke, political, public relations and Chevening officer at the British High Commission, said tackling illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is an imperative part of conservation, law enforcement, and socioeconomic development for all affected countries and with illicit activity crossing borders, regional cooperation and knowledge sharing is an essential component of a coherent response to this issue.
To be held in collaboration with the United Kingdom’s Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Chinese State Forestry Agency and the South African Revenue Service (SARS), including various participants from Namibia, the three-day workshop will strengthen partnerships across borders and beyond government, and focus on three themes namely tackling IWT as a serious organised crime by strengthening end to end law enforcement and addressing associated corruption, building coalitions by engaging the private sector, NGOs and academia; harnessing technology and innovation and closing markets for illegally traded wildlife products.
“Dissimilar mechanisms of the workshop will be led by experts from UK Border Force, and experts from Chinese State Forestry Agency, general administration of customs, and Northern Forestry University, who have experience in customs enforcement, species identification, and technical innovation in relation to IWT,” Mahnke said.