UK boosts global efforts against wildlife crime
London, UK, 5th August 2015—The UK Government today announced that up to GBP5 million will be made available to initiatives around the world to help tackle illegal trade in rhino horn, elephant ivory, tiger bone and other wildlife products.
The funding will be made available through Round Two of the Department for Environment Food & Rural Affairs (Defra)’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund to support practical action against wildlife crime by strengthening law enforcement, reducing demand for illegal products and by helping communities develop sustainable conservation schemes.
Since its launch in 2014, the Challenge Fund, with support from the Department for International Development (DFID), has supported 19 projects in countries affected by wildlife crime to protect endangered species and stop the criminality and conflict associated with international trafficking of illegal wildlife products.
The GBP5 million announced today takes the total made available through the Fund to GBP13 million.
Announcing the funding, Defra Environment Minister Rory Stewart said: “The illegal trade in animal products is putting some of our most iconic species like elephants, rhinos and tigers in severe danger. This is not just an environmental challenge: tackling this trade means tackling corruption, strengthening security and improving livelihoods.
“This funding will help to reduce the supply of illegal wildlife products by supporting local communities to find new ways of earning a living and stopping poachers and criminal networks from controlling this barbaric trade. It will also support action to reduce demand for these products.”
A Save the Rhino International project supported through the Challenge Fund is working in partnership with TRAFFIC to implement consumer behaviour change activities aimed at reducing demand for rhino horn in Viet Nam.
“The Challenge Fund is another fantastic example of the commitment governments can make to support the global efforts to end wildlife crime,” said Gayle Burgess, TRAFFIC’s Consumer Behaviour Change Co-ordinator.
“The support for action to reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products is key—ultimately it means the markets will decline and the incentive to poach disappears.