Investigative Reports

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Taiwan Joins the Fight to Save Cheetahs

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In a ceremony held today at Taiwan’s Representative Office in Somaliland, the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Somaliland and Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) signed an agreement to dispatch volunteers with the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Somaliland. The agreement between ICDF and Cheetah Conservation Fund in Somaliland comes on the 13th annual International Cheetah Day.

The Cheetah Conservation Fund in Somaliland in close partnership with the Ministry of of Environment and Climate Change runs a cheetah rehabilitation center in Somaliland, one of the biggest such centers of its kind in the world and the new agreement with Taiwan’s ICDF is expected to boost the conservation effort of these critically endangered species.

The signing ceremony was held at the Taiwan Representative office in Somaliland, and the Ambassador Allen LOU of the office along with Minister of Environment and Climate Change Shukri H. Ismail Mohamoud (Bandare) and other ministers witnessed the signing of the said Agreement.

According to a statement released by Taiwan’s Representative Office in Somaliland, the signing of this agreement aims to lay the institutional foundation for dispatching volunteers to promote cheetah conservation to raise awareness for the plight of the cheetah and rallies people from all nations to join in the efforts to conserve the species and to contribute to the protection of global biodiversity.

Taiwan, which has been sharing its expertise with Somaliland on many fronts such as agriculture, healthcare, and technology since the two nations established bilateral ties in July 2020, is home to the endangered Formosan black bear, and the leopard cat complies with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

According to the Cheetah Conservation Fund, around 40 cubs are rescued each year from smugglers by Somaliland law enforcement, where an estimate in 2019 by CCF put the number of cheetah cubs successfully smuggled from Somaliland at around 300. The exotic pet trade has fueled the smuggling of cheetah cubs from Somaliland to Gulf states, where affluent patrons pay exuberant amounts for the cheetah and other exotic wildlife.

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