The Maputo Special Reserve (MSR), in Matutuíne district of Maputo province, destroyed, last Friday, 38 weapons of different calibers recovered from poachers, which 26 are homemade and 12 conventional.
The event was witnessed by representatives of National Administration of Conservation Areas, the District Attorney’s Office, the PRM Commando in Matutuíne, community leaders and the reserve management team.
According to the MSR administration, the initiative aims to prevent the same weapons from re-circulating in the world of wildlife crime, undermining ongoing efforts to protect biodiversity in that reserve.
Some of the destroyed weapons were delivered voluntarily to the MSR in sensitization meetings to communities living inside the reserve and in buffer zone regarding the need to combat poaching, and others were abandoned by criminals during the pursuit actions by groups of rangers in their routine patrolling operations.
Another amount of non-quantified weapons recovered from poachers held by reserve’s rangers was handed over to the PRM Commando in Matutuíne to serve as evidence of the crime. Even these, the district attorney’s office has initiated efforts to persuade the police to make them available to be equally destroyed.
The management of national parks and reserves will continue working to reduce significantly the crime rate against wildlife, either by improving research methods or by applying the conservation law which punishes, not only poachers, but also constituents and who possess products resulting from illegal hunting.
In fact, in mid-August, the National Administration of Conservation Areas organized, in Maputo, a workshop to train rangers from parks and reserves in order to improve their technical capacity to identify evidence at the scene of crime regarding the fight against poaching and illegal trade of wildlife products.
At the time, the General Director of ANAC, Mateus Mutemba, said to be happy with the level of collaboration between the management of conservation areas and prosecutors and judges in the fight against environmental crimes, resulting in the conviction of poachers to prison sentence of 9 to 12 years.