Ministry mulls over stiffer penalties for poaching

The Ministry of Water and Environment discusses ways of combating illegal trade in wildlife with delegation from the International Fund for Animal Welfare - China.

By Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 26 Mar 2015, 11:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 10:35 PM

Dubai - The Ministry of Water and Environment (MoE) is considering amendments to laws governing wildlife crimes like poaching and trafficking in endangered species. The UAE supports international efforts to eliminate it at the regional and global levels, Ahmed Al Hashmi, Director of the MoE’s Biodiversity Department, said.

He received a delegation from the International Fund for Animal Welfare - China office headed by its director Chris Gabriel at the ministry’s headquarters in Dubai recently. The two parties discussed ways of combating illegal trade in wildlife and exchanged experiences and expertise in conservation of biodiversity and the reduction of environmental crimes.

Al Hashmi said the ministry may take a series of important measures to combat crimes against wildlife such as upgrading the institutional and legislative frameworks under which stricter penalties will be imposed for poaching and trafficking in endangered species.

This includes the Federal Law No. 11 of 2002 on the ‘Regulation and Control of the International Trade in Animals and Plants Threatened with Extinction’; amendments to the Federal Law No. 24 of 1999 for the ‘Protection and Development of the Environment’; and Federal Law No. 23 of 1999 ‘Concerning the Exploitation, Protection and Development of Living Aquatic Resources’. In addition, the National Biodiversity Strategy aims to develop and implement programmes to improve the conservation status of more than 70 per cent of the threatened and endangered species.

During the session, the International Fund for Animal Welfare demonstrated their efforts in China, which aims to raise public awareness in their fight against trade in ivory and challenges in the area. Gabriel noted the importance of cooperation between the UAE and the International Fund for Animal Welfare in supporting global efforts to combat the illicit trade and eliminate the demand for wildlife products.

The UAE has joined the Convention on the Regulation of International Trade Animal and Plant Endangered Species (CITES) under a federal decree No. 86 of 1989, which was signed in 1990.

news@khaleejtimes.com



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