Aril 4 2010: Botswana won the prestigious INTERPOL Ecomessage Award for her outstanding efforts in combating international wildlife crime at the recent Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species on Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), held from the 13th to 25th March 2010 in Doha, Qatar.
The EUR 20,000 award is funded by the International Fund for Animal welfare (IFAW) and is presented to a country that has made significant contributions to the international exchange of intelligence relating to environmental criminals.
The award was presented by the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Edmond Moabi.
Botswana shares information on wildlife conservation and anti crime strategies with the international community through Interpol.
“Through consistency and compliance in submitting such messages and sharing information with the international community, Botswana was able to establish various issues like patterns on how criminals operate,” said the Director of Wildlife and National Parks, Trevor Mmopelwa.
He also explained that the achievement should not be credited to the wildlife department alone as they were working hand in hand with the police, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF), immigration; Botswana Unified Revenue Services and the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime.
The Botswana police provided the link with Interpol while the BDF assisted with anti-poaching measures.
“The prize is not really cash, but rather comes in the form of capacity building. Therefore we will have to identify a suitable project that can be funded,” he said.