South Africa is a region with high biodiversity and substantial wildlife populations. Unfortunately, the region has also become a major source of illicit wildlife products for this illegal trade, such as elephant ivory, rhino horn, lion bone, pangolin scale, abalone, among others. This activity has exacerbated other forms of transnational organised crimes and undermined good governance and anti-corruption efforts.
To facilitate capacity building, AGA-Africa Programme collaborated with Good Governance Africa (GGA) on a highly engaging workshop themed ‘The Illegal Wildlife Trade in Southern Africa’ held from 24th–26th August 2022.
The workshop brought together participants from law enforcement agencies, civil societies, expert researchers and private sector stakeholders and practitioners from South Africa, Kenya, Uganda and the United States aimed at sharing best practices and experiences on the emerging trends in the illegal wildlife trade in Southern Africa and the intelligence-driven techniques needed to effectively dismantle and prosecute transnational criminal syndicates.
The event was attended by His Excellency the Former President of Botswana Lt. General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama, Chris Morolong, Executive Director, Good Governance Africa and Chukukere Unamba-Oparah, AGA-Africa Programme Programme Director and Country Coordinator for Kenya.
The workshop was officially opened by Norma Tyili, on behalf of Kim Robinson, AGA-Africa Programme Country Coordinator for South Africa. Keynote addresses were made by Chris Morolong, Executive Director, Good Governance Africa and Chukukere Unamba-Oparah, Programme Director and Country Coordinator for Kenya.
The highly informative sessions were moderated by Stephen Buchanan-Clarke, Head of Human Security and Climate Change Programme, Good Governance Africa and facilitated by Shawn Karns, Executive Director, Wildlife Investigations Training Alliance, Stephanie Karns, Director of Operations, Wildlife Investigations Training Alliance, Dr. Ross Harvey, Natural Resource Economist and Policy Analyst, Good Governance Africa, Alastair Nelson, Managing Director of Conservation Synergies, Ashwell Glasson, Head of Academic Policy & Sector Advancement, Southern African Wildlife College, Vincent Opyene, Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Natural Resource Conservation Network, Frances Craigie, Chief Director, South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, Naomi Haupt, Academic Policy Writing, Research and Benchmarking Officer, University of the Free State, Charles Van Niekerk, Lecturer in International and Regional Security, Wits School of Governance and Jim Karani, Director, Lawyers for Animal Protection in Africa.
At the closing ceremony, His Excellency the Former President of Botswana Lt. General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama made a keynote address of the strides Botswana took in combating the illicit wildlife trade during his incumbency.
The workshop was brought to a close by Kim Robinson, AGA-Africa Programme Country Coordinator for South Africa and Stephen Buchanan-Clarke, Head of Human Security and Climate Change Programme, Good Governance Africa.