Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: Nigeria Destroys 2.5 Tonnes Ivories, Elephant Tusks

*Vows To Uphold International Environmental Agreements

By Miriam Humbe

On Tuesday, Minister of State for the Environment, Dr. Iziaq Salako led a high powered delegation in Abuja to destroy 2.5 Tonnes of ivories and elephant tusks sized from illicit wildlife traffickers.

The event was the public disposal of confiscated wildlife stockpiles under the custody of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency (NESREA).

The Minister said that the destruction was aimed at showing the entire world that Nigeria had zero tolerance to illegal wildlife trade at any level and to serve as a deterrent to the illicit wildlife traffickers who used Nigeria as their transit route.

Salako said that further to the method of destruction being adopted, Nigeria was a party to many international environmental agreements to reduce the impact of Climate Change on man’s health and environment.

He said that Nigeria had domesticated most of these agreements through enactment and promulgation of environmental laws and regulations.

The Minister said: “Therefore, NESREA as an environmental Agency, has opted for pulverization method to dispose of the elephant tusk.”

He said Nigeria remained fully committed in the fight against wildlife crime and would continue to honour all international obligations to protect its biodiversity.

It was gathered that a total of about 2.5 tonnes of ivories and elephant tusks specimen were destroyed under the watch of the Federal Ministry of Environment and with the support of the Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI) African Fund, the US Embassy, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Wild African Fund.

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