Obama launches $10m African wildlife conservation plan

2nd Jul 2013

A 10 million dollar initiative to conserve South Africa, Kenya and sub-Saharan Africa's thriving safari tourism industry has come from no less an authority than the President of the United States.

Barack Obama launched the plan during his tour of Tanzania this week.

It is aimed at combating illegal wildlife trafficking and curbing extensive poaching of rhinos and elephants.

Wildlife is central to the whole Africa holiday experience, with legions arriving every year to enjoy safari-based specialist tours.

South Africa's wildlife treasures include Kruger National Park, while Kenya's Tsavo National Park remains ever-popular with animal lovers on group tours.

Obama established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking to form a national strategy over the next six months.

He also announced that the US State Department will provide 10 million dollars (£6,579,810) in training and technical help to tackle poaching in Africa.

Three million dollars (£1,973,943) each will go to South Africa and Kenya and four million dollars (£2,631,924) elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa, including Tanzania.

Carter Roberts, president and chief executive of the World Wildlife Fund in the United States, said the President's announcement puts wildlife trade on the map and gives its profile global importance.

Mr Roberts warned that poachers, if left unchecked, will drive endangered species to extinction.

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