The special envoy of the French President was received in audience Friday, June 14 by the Minister, Secretary General at the Presidency.
For the past ten years or so, the number of forest elephants has declined significantly due to wanton killing in search of tusk. If this trend continues; in the next 10 or 20 years, elephants will completely disappear from our forests. This worry was core in the discussion at the Secretariat General of the Unity Palace last Friday June 14 between Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister, Secretary General at the Presidency of the Republic and Nicolas Hulot, French Ecologist and Special Envoy of the French President, François Hollande.
Received in audience at the late hours of the day, Hulot expressed concern over the devastating effect trade in Ivory is causing to the livelihood of forest elephants. The audience was occasion for the two officials to discuss ways by which all hands could be put on deck to eradicate the ill.
“Poaching of elephants is not only a regional problem. It is necessary to identify ways by which we can assist the countries concern in the fight”, Hulot told reporters at the end of the audience. In effect, the French ecologist who doubles as journalist and politician and is at the origin of the creation of the “Foundation for Nature and Man”, believes that rampant hunting of forest elephants can only be stopped if the fight is internationalised.
The need for assistance is evident considering the economic difficulties and aspirations of each country to tackle the problem, the complexity of the problem, especially as the causes are varied and taking into consideration the fact that poaching has scaled up ushering in the problem of security. ”
We need to identity the causes not forgetting the high demand for endangered species and elephant tusk and the fact that there are consumer nations”, he said. One of the greatest worries of President François Hollande’s envoy was the rising phenomenon of the trade on internet. “You know the trafficking is equally done through the internet which necessitates serious monitoring”, he decried, stating inter alia that a new and common initiative, especially one that has international backing is needed if the fight must be successful.
As far as cooperation, assistance and information are concerned, before leaving France, Nicolas Hulot discussed with Interpol officials what needs to be done in terms of coordination and means. “We need to put up some diplomacy and dialogue with Asian countries that import most of the elephant tusks”, he said. Last Friday’s discussions fitted squarely on the philosophy of the Foundation for Nature and Man which hinges on the fact that ecological, economic and social stakes must be tackled on a global scale.
By Lukong Pius Nyuylime, Cameroon Tribune, 16 June 2013
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