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Gov’t to nab endangered species trade

Minister of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism, Jemma Nunu Kumba

By Sasuk Taban

The government has reaffirmed its commitment to protect endangered species in the country, the minister of wildlife conservation and Tourism Jemma Nunu Kumba has said.

Speaking to the media on the commemoration of “Endangered Species Day” yesterday, Jemma Nunu Kumba said her ministry is committed to conserve and protect Fauna and Flora in the country, by aligning itself to support regional and global conservation strategies to attain sustainability.

Some of the endangered species found in the country include; the cheetah, ostrich, Nile crocodile, Pangolins, African leopard that are being eradicated by forest cutting and habitat loss, the black and white rhinos, lion, the African elephant which continues to dwindle in number due to poaching, trafficking and some plant species, according to Kumba.

“Endangered species or Appendix one species as categorized by Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of fauna and flora include all species threatened with extinction which may be affected by trade,” the Minister said.

She added that, trade in specimens of these species must be subject to strict regulation, they might negatively affect their survival and must only be authorized in exceptional circumstances as referred to by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as Red listed species.

Endangered Species Day is a day celebrated on 19th May by nations worldwide to conserve wildlife and their habitats. The day highlights the plight of several animals at risk and critically endangered species of wild animals; and emphasizes on ways in which the society can alter their behavior on a daily basis to help, protect and save these creatures.

“The government is taking this opportunity to raise awareness for some of the world’s most vulnerable species, as many of our animals on the planet are becoming more endangered by the day,” Kumba said.

She added that, South Sudan has joined several initiatives such as the Clinton Initiative, Elephant Protection Initiative, that call for the protection of endangered species and is progressing in accession of some operational Environmental conventions such as “CITES”, Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS) and African Eurasian Water bird Agreement (AEWA).

South Sudan is known to be a home for elephants and their population was estimated to be 80,000 in the early 80’s and has now dwindle in number to a critical point, according to the last survey analysis and findings by the Ministry of Wildlife and its partners.

Kumba further appealed to South Sudanese to take special care in protecting the endangered species in the country such that the next generation benefits from their presence.

“These animals serve and will continue to serve as an important source of tourism for the country,” she said.

The Minister further extended her gratitude to President Kiir and government’s partners for their strong support and stand for wildlife conservation by providing technical and financial support to wildlife protection and conservation in the country.

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