Chinese Ambassador warns on illegal wildlife trade

KAMPALA-UGANDA —-The Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhuqiang has  asked all Chinese enterprises and staffs working in Uganda not to involve in any form of illegal wildlife trade.

“I call upon you all Chinese people operating  in Uganda to spontaneously boycott  illegal conducts in any form and  to make positive contributions towards  wildlife  protection,” said Zheng during a meeting  on opportunities  and challenges  for the Chinese Enterprises to engage  in Biodiversity and Wildlife  Conservation in Uganda.

The Meeting was jointly organized by the Chinese Enterprises Chambers of Commerce in Uganda in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society(WCS) in Kampala.

It aimed at sharing the best Environmental protection mechanism which Chinese Enterprises can utilize when executing their business without damaging  biodiversity.

Uganda is among the leading destination for Chinese’s Enterprises in Construction and  Mineral exploration.

But,  on several occasion,  during the execution of their projects, there has been an outcry by environmentalists that Chinese investors  are involving themselves in illegal wildlife trade  especially in the Albertaine region where Oil and Gas exploration activities are ongoing.

Zheng said most African countries  are home to rich wildlife resources that provide a source of revenue  in form of  attracting  both local, regional and international  tourists.

Such resources  are disappearing  due to rampant poaching in national parks  and other forms of biodiversity destruction thus the need for strong cooperation to eradicate poaching.

 “We need to deepen International cooperation in wildlife protection. All countries must act together to fully implement the International convention against the trading in Endangered species of wild life such as Elephants, Fauna and flora.

“In addition to that there’s also need  to step up law enforcement to combat Illegal trade in Wildlife  starting from the production stage  to trafficking then to selling chains,” said Zheng.

Uganda’s State  Minister  for Environment Dr. Goretti  Kimono Kitutu said the Government is in the process of coming up with new Environment laws that will handle both the current  and the new emerging activities that are now considered dangerous to biodiversity.

“We need new Laws that can cater for activities like sand mining  which is now reclusive business both to local and international investors.

“Sand extraction/ mining has greatly affected  the breeding  zones for most biodiversity species such as fish , frogs and other reptiles thus affecting  many sectors in the economy such as Tourism , and fishing sector,” said Kitutu.

Dr.  Simon Nampindo   the Country Director WCS said more effort is required from Government to ensure that its biodiversity is well protected for future generation.

Nampindo said  Uganda’s  biodiversity is facing extinction due to land use conversion  to agriculture , settlement  and  infrastructure  development , poaching  for bush meat  and Ivory.