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Dr. Mark Ofua: From Childhood Fascination to Wildlife Conservation Hero in Nigeria

In the heart of Nigeria resides a man whose life embodies a modern-day adventure, intricately woven with an unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation. Dr. Mark Ofua’s journey from a curious child captivated by animals to a fervent advocate for Nigeria’s biodiversity is nothing short of extraordinary.

Dr. Ofua’s collaborative partnership with Focused Conservation marked a pivotal chapter in his lifelong dedication to wildlife preservation. With the government’s newfound commitment to conservation, the emergence of Focused Conservation fortified a monumental shift in the landscape in Nigeria, infusing the movement with cutting-edge technology and unwavering dedication to wildlife protection. As a wildlife veterinarian and staunch conservationist, Dr. Ofua found himself at the heart of this transformative collaboration, working hand-in-hand with Focused Conservation to rehabilitate and release animals rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. Their joint efforts extend far beyond mere rescue operations; together, they engage in essential activities such as training, information sharing, and intelligence gathering, fortifying their united front in safeguarding wildlife. Yet, Dr. Ofua recognizes that true sustainability lies in nurturing local expertise and fostering a grassroots movement by investing in local capacity-building initiatives.

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Focused Conservation Joins Kenya Wildlife Service in Celebrating World Wildlife Day

In honor of World Wildlife Day, Focused Conservation had the privilege of participating in a special event hosted by the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) at Nairobi National Park. The event brought together various partners and stakeholders dedicated to safeguarding Kenya’s rich wildlife heritage.

During the celebration, presentations were delivered by Embakasi School and the Young Muslim Association, showcasing innovative methods to mitigate human-wildlife conflict. These included the use of lion lights and drones, demonstrating a proactive approach to conservation challenges.

Highlighting the cultural significance of the occasion, children from Embakasi School captivated the audience with a Swahili song celebrating the hyena, adding a touch of local flair to the festivities.

Salim Ahmed Umar, serving as the honorary warden, shared insightful remarks with attendees, emphasizing the importance of collaborative efforts in wildlife conservation.

Focused Conservation reaffirmed its unwavering commitment to supporting wildlife protection initiatives worldwide. As part of this dedication, the organization continues to collaborate with partners like the Kenya Wildlife Service to ensure the preservation of biodiversity for future generations.

World Wildlife Day serves as a reminder of the importance of collective action in safeguarding our planet’s precious wildlife. Focused Conservation remains steadfast in its mission to protect and preserve the world’s natural treasures.

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Strengthening Our Team: Focused Conservation Welcomes Law Enforcement Expert Phill Jones

We’re thrilled to announce the latest addition to our team at Focused Conservation: Phill Jones joins us as the new Technical Advisor to the wildlife crime unit in Nigeria!

Phill brings a wealth of experience and expertise to his new role, with a distinguished career in law enforcement focused on investigating Serious Organised Crime and Asset Recovery, both in the UK and overseas. His extensive background includes work with esteemed organizations such as the Royal Navy, West Mercia Police, and the National Crime Squad (now National Crime Agency), where he spearheaded intelligence-led investigations into serious organized crime groups.

But Phill’s contributions don’t stop there! He’s also made significant strides in capacity building and knowledge sharing in anti-corruption efforts, leaving an indelible mark on countries like Tanzania and South Africa through his training and mentoring of law enforcement agencies.

As the newest member of our team, Phill steps into the role of Technical Advisor to the Nigeria Special Wildlife Office (NSWO), where he’ll play a pivotal role in combating wildlife crime and dismantling trafficking networks operating within the country. His expertise will be instrumental in advancing our mission to protect endangered species and preserve biodiversity not just in Nigeria, but across borders.

The establishment of the NSWO in 2022 by Focused Conservation in collaboration with the Nigerian Customs Service underscores our unwavering commitment to combating wildlife trafficking in Nigeria. By working hand-in-hand with local authorities, we aim to enhance their capacity and expertise to tackle this illicit trade head-on.

With decades of experience in international law enforcement, our highly skilled team at Focused Conservation is poised to offer invaluable guidance and assistance to units like the NSWO. Together, we’re driving impactful actions against wildlife crime, strengthening local authorities, and making significant strides in the fight to protect our planet’s precious wildlife.

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Strengthening Collaborative Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking in Liberia

In a significant stride towards protecting Liberia’s wildlife, Technical Advisor Danny Murphy recently took part in a pivotal 2-day event organized by the Wild Chimpanzee Foundation, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), and the Society for the Conservation of Nature of Liberia (SCNL). The event served as a platform to showcase the impactful work undertaken by Focused Conservation and the Liberia Special Wildlife Investigations Unit (SWIU). By presenting to a diverse audience including NGOs and law enforcement partners, the session fostered crucial dialogue aimed at bolstering cooperation to tackle illegal wildlife trafficking in Liberia.

Since its inception in May 2023, the Liberia Special Wildlife Investigation Unit (SWIU) has emerged as a formidable force in combating wildlife crime in the region. The team’s efforts have yielded remarkable outcomes, with numerous endangered and protected species, including chimpanzees, slender-snouted and dwarf crocodiles, lesser-spot nosed monkeys, sooty mangabees, pangolins, and African grey parrots, being seized as part of successful operations. The collaborative workshop not only highlighted these achievements but also laid the groundwork for enhanced collaboration, promising even greater success in safeguarding Liberia’s wildlife.

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Focused Conservation and Kenya DCI Forge Ahead in Wildlife Crime Combat: Strengthening Partnership

In a bid to intensify the battle against wildlife crime in Kenya, a delegation from Focused Conservation, led by CEO Wim Brown, recently convened with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) at their headquarters in Nairobi. The meeting, which included Director of Investigations Eric Stouch and DCI Director Mohamed I. Amin, underscored the unwavering commitment

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Commissioner Emmanuel Jlikan’s Journey from Law Enforcement to Wildlife Conservation in Liberia

Meet Mr. Emmanuel Jlikan, a dedicated public servant whose journey from humble beginnings to national leadership in law enforcement is intertwined with a passion for wildlife conservation. Hailing from Monrovia, Liberia, Emmanuel was born in 1969 and raised amidst the civil strife that gripped his nation.

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Saudi Arabia’s Efforts Highlighted on International Day of the Arabian Leopard

In a bid to draw attention to the plight of the critically endangered Arabian leopard, Saudi Arabia successfully advocated for the United Nations to designate February 10, 2024, as the International Day of the Arabian Leopard. With only an estimated 200 of these majestic creatures left in the wild, the Arabian leopard stands as one of the rarest big cats globally, known for its smaller size compared to its African counterparts and its historic habitat spanning Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Oman.

On this significant day, His Excellency the Ambassador from the Saudi Embassy in Kenya joined forces with conservation organizations like Focused Conservation and Catmosphere for a groundbreaking initiative in Kenya’s Kanura Forest. Named the “Catwalk,” this symbolic 7-kilometer walk aimed to raise awareness about the Arabian leopard’s endangered status. Organized by Princess Reema Bandar Al-Saud’s non-profit foundation, Catmosphere, the event garnered international attention, amplifying the global call for the protection of big cats. Princess Bandar, also serving as the Saudi ambassador to the United States, has emerged as a vocal advocate for preserving the Arabian leopard and its habitat.

With historical records indicating a decline in Arabian leopard sightings, including the last recorded sighting in Saudi Arabia in 2014, the urgency to conserve this species has never been greater. Today, as we commemorate the International Day of the Arabian Leopard, we honor its legacy and renew our commitment to ensuring its survival for generations to come.

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