Newswise — Brazzaville (Feb. 24, 2015) – This week, Congo's Ministry of Forestry Economy and Sustainable Development (MEFDD) carried out a complete inventory of the ivory held at its main stockpile in Brazzaville and started a detailed review of ivory management across the country. The process was reviewed in person by His Excellency Minister Henri Djombo. A multidisciplinary team of MEFDD officials from across the country, led by the national ivory focal point Mr. Ngoulou, carried out the inventory this week with financial and technical support from Stop Ivory and the Wildlife Conservation Society. Other participants included representatives from African Parks Network, WWF and the PALF program. "This inventory demonstrates the country's zero tolerance to poaching and illegal wildlife crime," said Mr Roger Mbete, the Director of Wildlife and Protected Areas. "It is a critical step in the implementation of our National Ivory Action Plan and we anticipate notifying CITES of our national stock before its reporting deadline of 28 February." In April 2015 Congo will host an International Conference on Illegal Trade of Flora and Fauna in Africa.
WCS Congo Director Mark Gately said “It’s very encouraging to see the government of Congo taking a lead on measures to address wildlife trafficking and WCS remains fully committed to supporting these efforts." Stop Ivory CEO Alexander Rhodes said "We are delighted to be working with Congo in our mission to provide financial and technical assistance to countries in support of the Elephant Protection Initiative." The Elephant Protection Initiative is an African-led, partnership based and results oriented initiative launched at the February 2014 London Conference to protect elephants and stop the illegal ivory trade. ###