Ethiopian WildlifeAddis Ababa, February 11, 2013 (WIC) – The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) said that it has earned 18.5 million birr from local and international visitors.

Briefing journalists yesterday, Authority Public Relations and Information Directorate Director Mebratu Haile said that using different media outlets, websites, brochures and international trade fares the Authority has promoted the country’s unique and peculiar wildlife to international and local tourists.

The Authority couldn’t realize the 24 million birr it planned to obtain in the first half of this budget year due to the international economic crisis and seasonal fluctuation of tourists, Meberatu said.

According to him, out of the expected 53,000 international tourists 16,911 have visited the sanctuaries. Mebratu further indicated that, out of the expected 36,000 local tourists 10,490 have visited the sanctuaries.

Regarding controlling illegal activities in sanctuaries, the Authority has been working closely with different stakeholders — Federal Police, woreda administrations, the militia and the community as a whole. The Authority has also offered legal awareness training for 52 wildlife traffickers who were caught at Bole International Airport.

Researches that focused on development of sanctuaries as well as national parks including Bale, Semien, Nech Sar, Abiyata, Awash, Yangudina have also been conducted, he said.

The Authority further indicated that awareness creation programs that focused on natural resource development were organized for 49,080 members of the society (EPA)