AboutZoos, Since 2008


Gov­ern­ments com­mit to deci­sive and urgent action to tackle global wildlife poach­ing crisis

pub­lished 15 Feb­ru­ary 2014 | mod­i­fied 25 Decem­ber 2014

Heads of state, min­is­ters and high level rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 46 coun­tries, includ­ing those most heav­ily impacted by poach­ing and ille­gal trade of wildlife, com­mit­ted to tak­ing “deci­sive and urgent action” to tackle the global ille­gal wildlife trade at the Lon­don Con­fer­ence on Ille­gal Wildlife Trade this week.

Elephant corpse ChadThe strongly worded dec­la­ra­tion was issued fol­low­ing two days of closed-​door nego­ti­a­tions hosted in Lon­don by the UK gov­ern­ment on 12 and 13 Feb­ru­ary. Their Royal High­nesses, Princes Charles, William and Harry also par­tic­i­pated in the event.

Mea­sures agreed by coun­tries sign­ing the dec­la­ra­tion include:

  • action to erad­i­cate the mar­ket from ille­gal wildlife products;

  • agree­ment to strengthen law enforce­ment efforts and ensure that effec­tive legal frame­works and deter­rents are in place;

  • and moves to pro­mote sus­tain­able liveli­hoods through pos­i­tive engage­ment with local communities.

Organ­i­sa­tions involved in con­ser­va­tion of nature such as WWF, TRAF­FIC and WCS wel­come the post-​conference “pdfLon­don Dec­la­ra­tion” for recog­nis­ing the sig­nif­i­cant scale and detri­men­tal eco­nomic, social and envi­ron­men­tal con­se­quences of ille­gal wildlife trade, includ­ing how poach­ing and traf­fick­ing are increas­ingly con­trolled by organ­ised crim­i­nal net­works that under­mine the rule of law and good gov­er­nance and encour­age corruption.

Heather Sohl, Chief Species Advi­sor at WWF-​UK:

“Gov­ern­ments sign­ing the Lon­don Dec­la­ra­tion today sent a strong mes­sage: Wildlife crime is a seri­ous crime and it must be stopped. This traf­fick­ing dev­as­tates species pop­u­la­tions, but also takes the lives of rangers, impedes coun­tries’ eco­nomic devel­op­ment and desta­bilises soci­ety by dri­ving cor­rup­tion.”

“This is a cri­sis, not just at a national or regional scale, but one that demands urgent global atten­tion, and so war­rants high-​level polit­i­cal sup­port through the appoint­ment of a ded­i­cated United Nations Spe­cial Rep­re­sen­ta­tive. It is down to gov­ern­ments to stand by their com­mit­ments now and put in place pro­ce­dures and resources to tackle the crime back in their homelands.”
Steven Broad, exec­u­tive direc­tor of TRAF­FIC:

“Today’s Lon­don Dec­la­ra­tion was a clear call to arms for coun­tries to play their part in bring­ing down the organ­ised crim­i­nal net­works that are destroy­ing the world’s iconic wildlife and desta­bil­is­ing national and inter­na­tional secu­rity.”

“Key to sup­port­ing those efforts are the agreed actions tar­get­ing the con­sumer end of the sup­ply chain, where reduc­ing the demand for wildlife prod­ucts is an essen­tial part of the process.”

“This degree of high level atten­tion to ille­gal wildlife trade and unan­i­mous call for action is unprece­dented. Our chal­lenge now is to keep up the pres­sure and help trans­late this atten­tion into con­certed action to put the Declaration’s bold com­mit­ments into action.”
Dr. John G. Robin­son, WCS Chief Con­ser­va­tion­ist and Exec­u­tive Vice Pres­i­dent of Con­ser­va­tion and Sci­ence:

“We greatly wel­come the Lon­don Dec­la­ra­tion on Ille­gal Wildlife Trade, which today sends a strong mes­sage across the globe: Wildlife traf­fick­ing is a seri­ous crime, on a global scale, and must be tack­led at all lev­els as a mat­ter of urgency. The dec­la­ra­tion calls for a global crack­down on wildlife crime and on the cor­rup­tion and organ­ised crim­i­nal activ­i­ties that feed it.”

Wildlife crime is a seri­ous crime, as this joint EIA-​WWF-​TRAFFIC video demonstrates:

Coun­tries present at the meet­ing include sev­eral whose ele­phant pop­u­la­tions are under severe poach­ing pres­sure, such as the Demo­c­ra­tic Repub­lic of Congo, Gabon, Kenya and Tan­za­nia. Other coun­tries that rep­re­sent major tran­sit points for ivory shipped from Africa to Asia were also in atten­dance, includ­ing Togo, the Philip­pines and Malaysia, and sig­nif­i­cantly, China, the major mar­ket for ille­gal ivory.

Sim­i­larly, coun­tries at the cen­tre of the rhino horn trade chain were rep­re­sented, includ­ing South Africa, Mozam­bique and Viet Nam, as well as some of those impacted by the ille­gal trade in tiger parts: Indone­sia, Myan­mar, Rus­sia and China.

Also join­ing the meet­ing were rep­re­sen­ta­tives from a num­ber of inter­gov­ern­men­tal organ­i­sa­tions with a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in address­ing the cri­sis, includ­ing CITES (the Con­ven­tion on Inter­na­tional Trade in Endan­gered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), INTER­POL, the World Cus­toms Organ­i­sa­tion, var­i­ous United Nations agen­cies, the African Devel­op­ment Bank, the Global Envi­ron­ment Facil­ity and the World Bank. Sev­eral of these organ­i­sa­tions have the poten­tial to make resources avail­able to imple­ment the declaration’s commitments.

(Source: WWF Global news, 13.02.2014; WCS press release, 13.02.2014)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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