Protect the Natural Environment – President Khama

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President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says world leaders should take the responsibility to protect natural environment. Speaking at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London on February 13, he said all life was equally important and interlinked. “It is our responsibility as world leaders to protect our natural environment, not just the large ‘iconic species’ such as elephants and rhinoceros and tigers and whales but also the smallest microorganisms, as all life is equally important and interlinked,” he said

President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says world leaders should take the responsibility to protect natural environment.

Speaking at the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in London on February 13, he said all life was equally important and interlinked. “It is our responsibility as world leaders to protect our natural environment, not just the large ‘iconic species’ such as elephants and rhinoceros and tigers and whales but also the smallest microorganisms, as all life is equally important and interlinked,” he said

President Khama said world leaders should act and stop unsustainable trend of numerous species that had become extinct. “The problem of poaching and the illegal wildlife trade is a worldwide problem. It is being driven by well organised international criminals who are only concerned with profit,” he said.

He said this drive for greed had far reaching consequences and raised the already high level of corruption throughout the illegal wildlife trade value chain in Africa and Asia.

“We must combat this corruption and be held accountable in reversing this pillage,” he said. President Khama further said human-wildlife conflict was a major problem and concern throughout the world and another excuse to kill wild animals.

In this regard, he said it was important to educate people and come up with strategies aimed at mitigating human/wildlife conflict as it was the case in Botswana where there was a large population of elephants whose natural habitat was the same as the people, the land.

“People have had to co-exist with elephants in spite of the fact that elephants tend to raid crops and homes, and sometimes with people losing lives in the process,” he said.

President Khama said there was need to demonstrate the benefits of having wildlife close to populations that are in such areas and how people could directly benefit from that situation.

He told the summit that the African Elephant Action Plan which was agreed to in 2010 by African countries would go a long way in addressing the African Elephant problem if fully implemented.

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