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Monday
Sep122016

UN reaffirms commitment to tackling wildlife trafficking

© United Nations Photo / Creative Commons 2.0New York, USA, September 2016—The UN General Assembly has unanimously adopted a new Resolution on “Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife”, demonstrating continuing resolve at the highest political levels to curb illegal trade in wildlife.

Initiated by Gabon and Germany and co-sponsored by over 60 other countries, the Resolution was adopted last Friday and highlights the concern of governments around the world about the current poaching crisis and the scale of the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, which threatens the survival of numerous species as well as having adverse economic, social and environmental impacts.

Crucially, it builds upon last year’s historic first ever Resolution against wildlife trafficking, with countries now called on to implement their commitments made under that Resolution “fully and without delay.”

The new Resolution also welcomes the first UN Secretary-General’s report on Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife, which highlights the progress made by the 51 countries who responded with information on what action they have taken to meet the Resolution’s commitments.

Most reported taking measures against poaching, while well over half classify illicit trafficking in wildlife as a serious crime. Three countries increased the maximum penalties for illicit trafficking in wildlife in 2015, while 27 took measures to treat offences connected to the illegal trade in wildlife as a predicate offence for money-laundering. Half of the respondents had established wildlife crime task forces, while 21 had taken steps to support alternative livelihoods for communities, primarily in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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