R30 million for anti-poaching effort

The Peace Parks Foundation will invest R30 million in anti-poaching efforts in Mozambique and game parks in Limpopo.

The money would be spent on upgrading field communication technology used by rangers, cross-border radio communication systems, training rangers, improving their working conditions, counter-trafficking programmes, sniffer dogs, and research, the foundation said today.

The project also entailed helping the judicial system in Mozambique implement the new Conservation Areas Act, which makes provision for stiffer penalties for anyone found guilty of illicit wildlife product trafficking.

The money was from the Dutch and Swedish postcode lotteries. The investment formed part of a deal the foundation entered into with the Mozambican government and the Joaquim Chissano Foundation.

“The project implementation contracts signed today in Maputo follows on the memorandum of understanding between Mozambique and South Africa’s department of environmental affairs in the field of biodiversity, conservation and management, which was signed on April 19 2014,” the foundation said.

Peace Parks Foundation CEO Werner Myburgh said the agreement would see an expansion of efforts to combat wildlife crime.

“Wildlife crime is often transnational by nature and transfrontier conservation areas and agreements such as these signed today, offer an important platform to counter the decimation of our protected species,” he said.