EU's Michael Ryan condemns wildlife trafficking

Michael Ryan, the head of European Union Delegation to Rwanda has said that there is a great need for countries to join conservation efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.

Michael Ryan, the head of European Union Delegation to Rwanda has said that there is a great need for countries to join conservation efforts to combat wildlife trafficking.

Ryan made the remarks Friday night, while addressing journalists at the Kwita Izina Fundraising Gala Dinner.

The event—a fresh concept added in Kwita Izina series of events—was staged to raise funds for three very special conservation projects: The Mountain Gorilla Skeletal Project, Imisambi Sanctuary for Grey Crowned Cranes and a Community Eco-Lodge on the outskirts of Akagera National Park.

“Conservation is about preserving the planet, for me. We have various programmes in this country, but we are always willing to work with this country and the entire region, in programmes such as counter trafficking wild life products,” Ryan said.

He noted that, “We have a serious problem on this planet, and there is a great need to combine as all countries to try and conserve the ecosystem.”

Ryan explained that conservation is a big part of EU’s global priorities, and they are always working with countries in the region such as Rwanda, DRC and Uganda to conserve wildlife.  

“What we are seeing in Rwanda is a very serious conservation efforts developed to combat wild life trafficking. This country is such a Perfect partner to work with in this area,” he added.

The annual gorilla naming ceremony, locally known as Kwita Izina, is the national tourism flagship event, held in line with the country’s interest to showcase the success story of Rwanda’s conservation efforts, according to the Belisa Kariza, Chief Tourism officer at Rwanda Development Board (RDB).

Next Friday, 22 newborn gorillas will be named in the now-traditional colourful event at the outskirts of Volcanoes National Park, in Kinigi, Musanze District. The new gorillas were born since last year’s event.

Ryan, who will be among those giving names to the baby gorillas at Kwita Izina, told Sunday Times that he was “really honoured to be nominated.

“I am looking forward to meeting the baby gorilla, hopefully on next Wednesday, I will be able to climb the Volcanoes national park hills to meet the gorilla. I am going to name it Paddy; of course I know he is going to be given another very nice Kinyarwanda name. But I am going to call it Paddy and it will remain in my heart, because that is an Irish name and I am from Ireland,” he said. 

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