African campaigners urge closer ties with China to boost wildlife conservation

Source:Xinhua Published: 2018/1/25 0:17:37

China's robust engagement with African countries is key to enhancing protection of iconic wildlife species grappling with threats linked to human activities and climatic stresses, campaigners have said.

Kaddu Sebunya, president of Nairobi-based African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), underscored China's critical role in helping revitalize conservation of Africa's rich wildlife heritage.

"Africa needs forward thinking solutions in partnership with China to ensure an economically and ecologically vibrant Africa, with protected natural resources," Sebunya told Xinhua in an email interview on Wednesday.

The Ugandan-born conservationist on Monday witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the AWF and Beijing Zoo that aims to raise awareness on the plight of Africa's wildlife species to Chinese audience.

"For the first time Africa's largest conservation organization is entering a partnership with the world's largest zoo (in terms of daily visitors) to protect the continent's abundant but fragile resources and guarantee long-term socio-economic stability of our people," Sebunya said.

He added that a partnership with Beijing Zoo will enhance sharing of best practices on conservation of Africa's endangered wildlife species and boost anti-poaching programs in the continent.

Sebunya predicted a fruitful cooperation with China to strengthen the continent's efforts to protect its wildlife and other vital ecosystems.

He noted that China's stellar economic growth and global stewardship in the green agenda presents vital lessons to African countries in their quest to accelerate ecologically sensitive economic development.

"China is the largest partner to Africa's economic growth programs, including infrastructure, energy, industry and trade," Sebunya said.


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