August 19, 2016

Environmental activists call for action against illegal wildlife trade

DIRECTOR U Ko Ko Aye of the Mandalay Region Department of Environmental Conservation has called for decisive action to stamp out the illegal wildlife trade in a bid to strike a balance between biodiversity conservation and viable ecosystems.
The department celebrated World Environment Day in Mandalay yesterday under the theme “The fight against the illegal trade in wildlife”.
U Ko Ko Aye said the booming illegal wildlife trade was robbing the world of its precious biodiversity, thereby undermining economic prosperity and giving rise to organised crime, corruption and insecurity.
According to studies by international scientists, some 100,000 elephants in Africa were poached between 2010 and 2012, with 170 tonnes of ivory lost to the illegal trade between 2009 and 2014. It is also estimated that nearly 1,338 rhinos were poached in 2015 and that some 3,000 apes are captured every year. Chimpanzees are reported to be now extinct in Gambia, Burkina Faso, Benin and Togo.
The destruction of ecosystems will lead to environmental degradation, with a UN report stating that outdoor air pollution kills some 40,000 people every year. The number is greater than the that of people killed by AIDS, malaria and TB combined.— Aung Thant Khaing


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