Leonard Ncube in Hwange
THE African Elephant Summit has started in Hwange amid calls for member states to embrace Pan Africanism and speak with one voice on conservation issues.
Wildlife stakeholders from Zimbabwe, Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Rwanda, Mauritius, Lesotho, Madagascar, as well as Uganda, Eswatini, Tanzania, Zambia, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Seychelles are attending the four-day conference whose official opening is set for Thursday.
The conference is taking place at Hwange Safari Lodge on the edge of Hwange National Park and countries that have elephants seek to come up with a common position on elephant management ahead of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) 19th Conference of Parties (COP 19) in November in Panama.
Giving welcome remarks on behalf of Minister of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Nqobizitha Mangaliso Ndlovu, Permanent Secretary, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, called upon African countries to create greater collaboration in wildlife management.
“This conference is happening just on the eve of Africa day. Surely the solidarity that comes with Africa Day should set something in our minds,” said Mr Munodawafa.
He implored participating countries to think deeply about the need to support local conservation adding that communities affected by human-wildlife conflict should be compensated and given the opportunity to mourn their loved ones who fall victim to wildlife.
A number of issues are lined up for discussion among them CITES CoP19, elephant management and proposed common understanding, wildlife management and climate change nexus, as well as perspectives on elephant conservation and effects of wildlife in communities, together with the role of communities in elephant management.
more to follow…