Governments commit to action to tackle the global wildlife poaching crisis
London, UK: Heads of State, Ministers and high level representatives of 46 countries, including those most heavily impacted by poaching and illegal trade of wildlife, have committed to taking “decisive and urgent action” to tackle the global illegal wildlife trade. The trafficking of wildlife devastates species populations, takes the lives of rangers, inhibits the economic development of countries, and destabilizes societies by driving corruption. It has become a global crisis that demands urgent global attention.
“This is a clear call to arms for countries to play their part in bringing down the organized criminal networks that are destroying the world’s iconic wildlife and destabilizing national and international security,” said Steven Broad, executive director of TRAFFIC. “Key to supporting those efforts are actions targeting the consumer end of the supply chain, where reducing the demand for wildlife products is an essential part of the process,” Broad added.
Countries whose elephant populations are under severe poaching pressure (Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya and Tanzania), and those who serve as major transit points for ivory shipped from Africa ( Togo, the Philippines and Malaysia) were in attendance, as was China the major market for illegal ivory.
Countries at the center of the rhino horn trade chain (South Africa, Mozambique and Viet Nam) attended the meeting. Representatives of countries impacted by the illegal trade in tiger parts (Indonesia, Myanmar, Russia and China) were present as well.
Also joining the meeting were representatives from a number of intergovernmental organizations, including CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), INTERPOL, the World Customs Organization, various United Nations agencies, the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the World Bank. Several of these organizations have the potential to make resources available to implement the declaration’s commitments.