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Expert to Discuss Illegal Wildlife Trade With Journalists

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Assistant Director, Strategic Communications and Illegal Wildlife Trade Cheetah Conservation Fund, Patricia Tricorache, has fixed Wednesday, December 14, 2016 by 2:45pm to will address the media at the American Center/NALA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Tricorache is expected to use the platform to provide an introduction to the Cheetah Conservation Fund and an overview of cheetah trafficking.

She will explain why combatting illegal wildlife trafficking matters and how media can help to stop it.

She will also share recent developments concerning cheetahs from the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) COP17 meeting held in Johannesburg, South Africa and discuss multilateral collaboration in the region.

Tricorache joined Cheetah Conservation Fund (CCF) in 2001, bringing with her a unique and diversified expertise resulting from +30 years in the private and public sectors at national and international levels.

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Her experience includes 15 years of public affairs and marketing for a Fortune 5 consumer goods corporation, as well as six years of public relations and international trade at a Mexican semi-private industrial development bank.

When Tricorache began tackling the issue of illegal cheetah trafficking in November of 2005, little was known about the magnitude of this illegal trade.

It was then that, together with CCF’s Executive Director, Dr Laurie Marker, Tricorache organized the confiscation of two cheetah cubs held illegally at a restaurant in a remote area of Ethiopia.

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The confiscation took place with the support of the Ethiopian authorities and the United States Embassy and military personnel, which attracted unexpected media attention.

As a result, reports regarding cheetahs being sold or held as pets throughout the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula began pouring in. #It was then that she began collecting data on illegal cheetah trafficking. She also initiated a support network in relevant areas, organized confiscations whenever possible, and conducted research on numbers, routes, and drivers for demand and supply.

CCF’s illegal cheetah trafficking database became the most extensive in the world and was key to support the inclusion of this issue in the CITES 16th Conference of the Parties, following a proposal by Party countries Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda.

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As CCF’s representative before CITES, she participated in an inter-sessional working group which culminated in a workshop in Kuwait, held in November 2015, where a group of 11 Parties and eight NGOs drafted recommendations that were adopted at the CITES 17th Conference of the Parties held in Johannesburg in September 2016.

She has brought attention to the magnitude of cheetah pet trade on social media, and works with governments and other NGOs such as the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Rangewide Conservation Program for Cheetahs and African Wild Dog (RWCP), and the Born Free Foundation, among others, to put the CITES recommendations into action.

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Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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