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US Ambassador asks youth to help curb poaching

Author : | Published: Friday, March 3, 2017

On the Wildlife Conservation Day today, the US ambassador in Juba has called on the youth in South Sudan to join efforts to protect biodiversity.

Amb Molly Phee says the country’s wildlife populations are a “priceless resource for the country and for our shared global heritage”.

The wildlife day is designated to celebrate the world’s biodiversity and raise awareness about the need for its protection.

According to the Wildlife Conservation Society, a partner for the U.S. Agency for International Development, South Sudan has been losing some of its wild animals since the 1970s.

“Wildlife stock levels, already dangerously low in 2013, have suffered from additional death and displacement as a result of renewed internal conflict,” she said in a statement.

The number of giraffes, the society says, has declined from 100,000 to 300. Elephants have reduced from 80,000 to fewer than 2,500 and Tiang antelope, from 2 million to roughly 160,000.

“In support of this year’s theme, we call on the youth of South Sudan, who will inherit this extraordinary legacy, to join the effort to safeguard the country’s unique biodiversity,” she stressed.

Molly Phee says other conditions such as food insecurity and economic hardships threaten the wildlife populations.

The conditions, she said, worsen the illegal trade in bush meat, rare species, and ivory.

She said the US Government, through the USAID and the Wildlife Conservation Society, has provided substantial technical and financial support to the Ministry of Wildlife and Natural Resources since 2008.

World Wildlife Day was established by the United Nations in 2013. The theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day is “Listen to the Young Voices.”

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