The United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (YOU SAID) and on behalf of the American people, launched a new three-year, $ 3.4 million project on October 15 to address the growing problems of illegal wildlife trafficking and associated corruption.
“Trafficking in wildlife is a serious crime that undermines economic prosperity, the rule of law, good governance, conservation efforts and human health and is often made possible by corruption,” said said US Ambassador Amy J. Hyatt. “The United States takes these issues very seriously, which is why we are investing in the fight to end corruption and wildlife trafficking in Madagascar.
The U.S. Government’s Anti-Corruption and Wildlife Trafficking Project, funded by YOU SAID, is led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and brings together a consortium of actors, including TRAFFIC International, Transparency International Initiative Madagascar and Alliance Voahary Gasy. The project will work in close collaboration with the Ministry of Justice of Madagascar and the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development.
“We believe this project will have a significant impact thanks to the alliance of dedicated partners that we bring together,” added Ambassador Hyatt. “To achieve these goals, we need to gain meaningful buy-in from all levels of government in multiple ministries. “
The Minister of the Environment, Baomiavotse Vahinala Raharinirina, the Minister of Justice, Herilaza Imbiki, and the chairman of the Integrity Safeguarding Committee (CSI), Sahondra Rabenarivo, also participated in the launch ceremony.
Wildlife trafficking and associated corruption are growing problems in Madagascar. According to TRAFFIC, more than 21,000 endemic turtles were seized during attempted illegal wildlife trafficking in Madagascar between 2018-2021. The Anti-Corruption and Wildlife Trafficking Project will address these complex issues in several ways. The project will conduct research to identify appropriate approaches and tools needed to strengthen anti-corruption efforts. It will work with law enforcement and customs to strengthen border controls and improve surveillance using specialized investigative techniques and targeted training. It will also improve the efficiency of the justice system and ensure that traffickers are prosecuted and convicted by providing training and other forms of assistance to the institutions concerned.
The US government is working alongside the government of Madagascar and the people of Madagascar, such as “mpirahalahy mianala”, to protect the nation’s natural resources and biodiversity from illegal and unsustainable practices that threaten its environmental heritage and economic future.
Since 2013, the U.S. government has invested nearly $ 60 million in programs that combat trafficking in wildlife and precious woods, improve livelihoods, and strengthen governance of natural resources. This includes YOU SAIDthe two flagship environmental projects, YOU SAID Hay Tao and YOU SAID Mikajy, and two million-dollar grants awarded earlier this year by the US Department of State’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement to combat wildlife trafficking and illegal logging in Madagascar.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of the Embassy of the United States in Madagascar and the Comoros.
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