1 Tahrcountry Musings: World Wildlife Crime Report

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

World Wildlife Crime Report

I just read the world wildlife crime report prepared by UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime), with data provided by partner organizations under the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), including the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).
One of the main messages the new report aims to convey is that wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or regions, but is a truly global phenomenon. The report represents the first global assessment of its kind. Through in-depth analysis of trade sectors, markets and representative case studies, the World Wildlife Crime Report sheds light on seven specific areas which best illustrate the scale of wildlife and forest crime: seafood; pets, zoos and breeding; food, medicine and tonics; art, d├ęcor and jewellery; cosmetics and perfume; fashion; and furniture. The report looks to provide an insight into the crime and the great lengths to which traffickers go to exploit loopholes in the international controls. By doing so, several significant gaps in this area are highlighted, including informational, legislative and operational factors which, if addressed, could dramatically reduce the negative impact trafficking is having on wildlife.
UNODC Executive Director, Yury Fedotov, says "The desperate plight of iconic species at the hands of poachers has deservedly captured the world's attention and none too soon. Animals like the tiger, feared and revered throughout human history, are now hanging on by a thread, their dwindling numbers spread across a range of states that are struggling to protect them. African elephants and rhinos are under constant pressure. But the threat of wildlife crime does not stop with these majestic animals. One of the critical messages to emerge from this research is that wildlife and forest crime is not limited to certain countries or regions. It is not a trade involving exotic goods from foreign lands being shipped to faraway markets".
This is what CITES Secretary-General, John E. Scanlon says "This comprehensive global report is rooted in the best data and case studies available, is backed by in-depth analysis, and demonstrates a heightened sense of rigor in the way in which we report on wildlife crime. Future reports will benefit from more and better data, with CITES Parties to submit annual illegal trade reports starting in 2017. Hundreds of additional species of animals and plants, including 250 tree species, are being considered for global protection under CITES at its 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties - to be held in Johannesburg later this year. The World Wildlife Crime Report shows the extensive involvement of transnational organized criminal groups in these highly destructive crimes and the pervasive impact of corruption, demonstrating that combating wildlife crime warrants even greater attention and resources at all levels. We sincerely thank the Executive Director and staff of UNODC for leading this tremendous effort, together with our other ICCWC partners, INTERPOL, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization"

Read the full report HERE

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