Governments Commit to Battling Illegal Wildlife Trade

Leaders from UN Member States and international organizations have pledged their support in tackling the growing problem of illegal wildlife trafficking, salve at an event hosted by the Governments of Gabon and Germany and partners, this at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Central Park Zoo in New York City.

The event was jointly organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), sale the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the World Bank, and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

Attended by Ministers and other senior government representatives, the meeting featured high-level remarks on the escalating threat of wildlife crime to the world’s wildlife and ecosystems and highlighted possible solutions for solving the crisis.

The event coincided with the gathering of world leaders for the 70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Speaking at the event, Helen Clark, administrator, United Nations Development Program (UNDP) discussed the need for increased political commitment in stopping wildlife trafficking and the need to increase financial and technical support.

“This illegal trade in wildlife is a development, environmental, and security challenge which is pushing vulnerable and endangered species toward extinction, fuelling corruption and conflict, and putting lives and livelihoods at risk,” Clark said.

“The world has shown that it is ready to get serious about wildlife and forest crime, and UNDP and its partners are committed to contributing to this work,” she added.

Lauding the collective efforts in tackling wildlife crime, John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES said, “The adoption of UN Sustainable Development Goals, with specific targets on ending poaching and trafficking in wildlife, is a powerful expression of political determination to end these highly destructive crimes.”


He added,”These crimes are driven by people’s greed, indifference and ignorance, and it is through the actions of people that we will achieve these targets. The collective effort that is on display here today in the Central Park Zoo gives us confidence we will succeed.”

Stressing on the importance to translate the rules to action, Yury Fedotov, Executive Director, UNODC said that the meeting was only the first albeit a significant step in tackling wildlife crime.

“We need to do more to translate awareness and commitment into action, to strengthen national responses as well as international cooperation to tackle the transnational dimensions of wildlife and forest crime, he said.

“As a global community we must grapple with a critical dilemma that can no longer be pushed off to future generations. If our planet is to sustain us, then we must sustain our planet, said Cristián Samper, President and CEO, WCS

“The inclusion of targets to protect endangered species and end wildlife trafficking in the global goals is a strategic step in that direction. I am optimistic that these global goals adopted this past week will help us work together and result in a much better world for wildlife and all life,” he added.

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