The EPI supported the Angolan government in hosting the country’s first ever workshop on wildlife crime. Some 30 senior prosecutors and police officers, from the length and breadth of Angola, spent two days outside Luanda, from 15-17th January, learning about wildlife crime and ways of stopping it. The attendees came from provinces ranging from Cabinda to Cuando-Cubango, and they were joined were Angola’s Environment Minister, Paula Francisco Coelho.
The workshop had a special emphasis on the illegal trade in ivory. The Angolan authorities have made several important seizures of ivory and rhino horn in recent years, destined for East Asia. The vast majority of Angola's elephants have been poached in recent decades, but populations survive, especially in the south-east. Sophie Ledger, of Stop Ivory and the EPI Secretariat, helped organise the workshop and said ‘We welcome the Angolan government’s desire to clamp down on the illegal trade in wildlife products. We hope this workshop will help officials better understand the powers at their disposal and highlight priority areas for future training and resources’.
The EPI is delighted to work with the Angolan government to build a better future for elephants and for the people of Angola. DEFRA UK, the UK Embassy in Angola and Traffic all provided invaluable support.