World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

NZDF Supports British Army’s Counter-Poaching Operation

30 April 2019


New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel are working alongside their British counterparts to counter the multi-billion-dollar illegal wildlife trade in Africa.

Special Operations Component Commander Colonel Rian McKinstry said two soldiers – one from New Zealand’s Special Operations Forces (NZSOF) and one from 1st Battalion, Royal New Zealand Infantry Regiment (1 RNZIR) – went to Malawi in March to complement the training of 30 British Army troops in bushcraft, tracking and wilderness survival skills.

The training was conducted at the 548-square kilometre Liwonde National Park in southern Malawi, which is managed by the non-profit conservation organisation African Parks, whose president is Prince Harry.

The NZDF and British soldiers are helping African Parks rangers tackle poachers.

“Bushcraft and tracking are two of the specialist skills that New Zealand troops are known for,” Colonel McKinstry said.

The NZSOF soldier said tracking down wildlife poachers meant carrying out patrols in the wilderness that often lasted for days.

“The purpose of the bushcraft training is to share our experience, so that the British soldiers can thrive in the wild and achieve their mission,” he said.

Lance Corporal Jed Maskill, from 1 RNZIR, said the tracking training, which complemented the training from British instructors from the 2nd Battalion Royal Gurkha Rifles, included theory and practice.

“A tracker needs to pay close attention to any disturbances or signs in the environment, so they can understand the psychology of their quarry or target and anticipate their actions and where they are heading,” Lance Corporal Maskill said.

These signs could be footprints, broken twigs or bent grass, he said.

Authorities in Malawi have blamed rampant poaching for halving the Commonwealth country’s elephant population, from 4000 in the 1980s to 2000 in 2015.

Trafficking in ivory, rhinoceros horn and other wildlife products is reportedly worth about NZ$35 billion a year, making it the world’s fifth-largest organised crime industry and it brings crime and instability into some of the world’s poorest communities.

It damages economic growth and sustainable development, undermines governance and the rule of law, and deprives communities of valuable and finite natural resources.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Pacific: Tongan PM 'Akilisi Pohiva Dies, Aged 78

A constant thorn in the side of the monarchy and nobility, Mr Pohiva's lifelong battle for representation had seen him fired from the public service and charged with sedition... More>>

ALSO:

Untied Kingdom: UK PM Moves To Suspend Parliament In Weeks Before Brexit

The Prime Minister has briefed Cabinet colleagues that the government will bring forward an ambitious new legislative programme for MPs’ approval, and that the current parliamentary session will be brought to an end. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Hong Kong Protest Movement

The pro-democracy protests enjoy huge support among Hong Kong’s youth, partly because the democratic systems currently at risk have only a limited time span. More>>

ALSO:

Pacific Island Forum: Australia v Everyone Else On Climate Action

Traditionally, communiques capture the consensus reached at the meeting. In this case, the division on display between Australia and the Pacific meant the only commitment is to commission yet another report into what action needs to be taken. More>>

ALSO:

For NZ, It Was May 6: Earth Overshoot Day 2019 Is The Earliest Ever

Humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths... More>>

ALSO: