The Government of Mozambique through the National Administration of Conservation Areas, ANAC, carries out from 10 to 16 February several activities to mark the commemorations of World Pangolim Day, which is celebrated internationally on the third Saturday of February, this year on February 15.
Week of Celebration of the World Pangolim Day: Mozambique Focused on Mammiferous Protection
The activities that take place with the support of partners such as USAID, through the SPEED+ Project, WWF, BIOFUND, NATURA, WildAid, WCS and Gorongosa National Park, include lectures at two primary schools in Maputo city, photographic exhibitions about the pangolim, projection of film, in addition to debates promoted with the purpose of raising awareness of society on the urgent need to protect that mammal which is, according to the World Wildlife Union, the most trafficked in the world.
Speaking at the event to launch the celebrations, the Director General of ANAC, Mateus Mutemba, revealed that 31 cases of frustrated trafficking of pangolins were recorded throughout the country during the past year, targeting the Asian black market. In view of the growing scenario of cases, Mateus Mutemba, reaffirmed the commitment of the Government of Mozambique in the protection of animals including pangolin, a fact that translates, among other activities, into the improvement of the legal framework and control of illegal exploitation of wildlife resources.
Aligning in the same tuning fork, Director of Protection and Surveillance Services of ANAC, Lopes Perreira, revealed that in the last 16 years there has been a significant increase in cases of trafficking of pangolim, with 2019 being the worst year of trafficking of mammals, where from February to July, 48.9 tons of pangolim were confiscated by the authorities.
Sensitized by these growing numbers, Gorongosa National Park, PNG, created the Pangolim Rehabilitation Center to care for pangolins rescued from animal trafficking operations. António Tonecas, a veterinarian assigned to Gorongosa National Park, revealed that 31 pangolins were recovered and reinserted into their natural habitat.
USAID’s National Director, Jennifer Adams, assured that the American people remain committed to the fight against animal trafficking, including the African pangolin. As a result of this commitment, USAID works with the government to develop different legal instruments to train prosecutors, judges and inspectors in technical knowledge about the procedure in cases of animal trafficking.
Pangolim theater play engages students in the protection of the species
Following society’s awareness activities on pangolin, the Mutumbela Gugu group presented a play on the importance of pangolin in the ecosystem that urges the population to quickly report cases of transport, hunting and marketing of the mammal.
The students of Eduardo Mondlane Primary School, on the outskirts of Maputo City, were enthusiastic about the play as well as the lectures that took place in that educational institution.
“It was a different and creative way of teaching us about the importance of pangolim,” confessed António Pinto, a seventh grade student at that school.
Márcia Moisés, a student who has never before heard of and seen pangolim, praised the initiative.
“I learned that we have to denounce it at the police station whenever we see someone trafficking the pangolin,” said the sixth grade student.
It is on display from 13 to 16 this week in Baia and City Mall, in Maputo city, a photographic exhibition that portrays the pangolim. Another photographic exhibition will be on display at City Mall in the lower part of the city.