Friday, December 04, 2015

Sino-Africa collaboration in wildlife protection crucial

There is need to strengthen Sino-Africa collaboration in wildlife conservation to help preserve a resource that underpins livelihoods in the world's second largest continent, campaigners said late Thursday in Johannesburg.

Speaking at a roundtable organized by conservation lobby Africa Wildlife Foundation (AWF) at Kruger National Park in South Africa, the campaigners from China and Africa said Beijing's contribution was critical to strengthen protection of Africa's wildlife species.

The high profile roundtable attended by celebrities, artists and grassroots campaigners from China and Africa renewed call for robust Sino-Africa collaboration in wildlife conservation.

"In the lead up to this year's Forum on China-Africa Cooperation[FOCAC], we have held a number of meetings in Beijing, Nairobi and Kigali, where we have discussed extensively the illegal wildlife trade in Africa," remarked the CEO, Africa Wildlife Conservation, Dr Patrick Bergin.

On the eve of the FOCAC summit in Johannesburg, Africa Wildlife Foundation partnered with Aspen Institute, a think tank based in Washington DC to convene African and Chinese celebrities in order to raise the visibility of wildlife issues.

Prominent celebrities who graced the roundtable at Kruger National park are members of China-Africa wildlife conservation council that has injected fresh impetus in the campaigns to promote the protection of iconic wildlife species in the African continent.

Chinese actor Wang Baoqiang joined his African counterparts to participate in the roundtable that sought to press for robust Sino-Africa engagement in wildlife protection.

"I have always loved being out in nature and I enjoyed seeing Africa's elephants, rhinos and other wildlife for the first time," Wang remarked adding the FOCAC summit reaffirmed the blossoming Sino-Africa bilateral cooperation in a broad range of issues.

"The upcoming summit in South Africa highlights the strong relationship between China and Africa, and I am happy to be a part of the discussions around how all Chinese and Africans can work together to ensure sustainable development in Africa," Wang remarked.

Tanzanian singer and songwriter Ali Kiba echoed Wang's sentiments and underscored the critical role of multi-stakeholder engagement to promote wildlife conservation in Africa.

"My country has lost many of its elephants in the last few years due to poaching, and we must all find ways to work together to stop the killing and safeguard our wild lands," Ali Kiba remarked.

Wildlife protection will be among the major topics to be discussed at the Forum on China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit to be held in Johannesburg from 4th to 5th December.

  Xinhua -

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