The United Nations is keeping the pressure on wildlife traffickers and their crimes by recently adopting a far-reaching resolution that keeps the illegal wildlife trade high on the global political agenda. This resolution was adopted on September 11 at the final meeting of the 71st session of the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva. This resolution calls on countries to integrate the issue of the wildlife trade into national development plans and to further raise public awareness.
“The adoption of the first UN General Assembly resolution two years ago provided great political momentum to the global collective efforts to combat illicit trafficking in wildlife. A lot has been achieved over recent years but more needs to be done to ensure we reverse the disturbing trends in wildlife crime. This new UNGA Resolution reinforces the heightened level of political concern over the devastating impacts these highly destructive crimes are having on wildlife and people.” Secretary-General of CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), John E. Scanlon
The Born Free Foundation’s Associate Director for Asia and Oceania, Gabriel Fava, recently discussed his stance on proactively curbing wildlife trafficking and the need to shift away from reacting. He believes the very important emphasis on this resolution is that the U.N. is showing they understand the connection between wildlife trafficking and syndicated crime.
“The frontline people such as the wildlife and police officers may not realize the magnitude of the issue. They may not realize that it is linked to an illegal trade, very similar to crime networks spanning not just countries and oceans but continents as well involved in drugs, arms and people smuggling.” Gabriel Fava
Wildlife traffickers use many sources of information and are also ‘patrons’ of the Darknet which is a part of the Deepweb. This is about 500 times the size of the World Wide Web and used for the promotion of illegal goods including wildlife and should be analyzed and monitored. The U.N. categorizing wildlife trafficking within the bigger picture of ‘transnational crime’, is key to acknowledging the impact on national security. Wildlife trafficking needs to be seen as the different side of the same coin as corruption, money laundering and human trafficking.
“They have an impact on the national economy and a huge impact on the rule of law and governance. So, mitigating these impacts is beneficial to governments.” Gabriel Fava