GEF Increases Funding to Tackle Wildlife Trafficking and Trade
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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The GEF will increase its financial support its Global Wildlife Programme, which works to tackle wildlife crime in 19 countries in Africa and Asia.

Illegal trade in wildlife generates between US$7 billion to 23 billion per year.

At the same time, the GEF estimates that crimes affecting natural resources “cost societies more than US$70 billion a year”.

9 October 2018: The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has announced it will increase its funding to combat illegal wildlife trafficking and trade by US$37 million over the next four years, an increase of nearly 29 percent. The funding will support countries in Africa and Asia to prevent wildlife poaching and illegal wildlife trade and help countries to reduce consumer demand for species and their products.

According to the GEF, there is an urgent need to tackle wildlife crime. Leopards are extinct in 23 out of the 89 African and Asian countries where they originally lived, and only four percent of tigers remain in the wild. In Africa, the numbers of African elephant and black rhino are “plummeting.” Birds, pangolins, primates, sharks, turtles and other species are all facing severe pressure from wildlife trade.

Illegal trade in wildlife is one of the “most lucrative illegal businesses in the world,” generating between US$7 billion to 23 billion per year. This crime contributes to corruption and conflicts and deprives local communities of natural capital and opportunities to benefit from nature-based tourism. The GEF estimates that crimes affecting natural resources “cost societies more than US$70 billion a year.”

Illegal trade in wildlife is one of the most lucrative illegal businesses in the world.

The GEF is working to tackle wildlife crime through its Global Wildlife Programme (GWP), which works in 19 African and Asian countries. The partnership focuses on wildlife conservation and crime prevention for sustainable development and is funded by the GEF and led by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP, or UN Environment). The increased funding will broaden the partnership’s reach and impact and help countries to take their own measures to tackle illegal wildlife trade.

The GEF has allocated a total of US$168 million to combat wildlife trafficking during its GEF-7 funding cycle, which runs from 2018-2022. The GEF announced this increased funding in advance of the ‘Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference,’ an event hosted by the Government of the UK. The event aims to combat wildlife trade as a serious organized crime, close markets for wildlife species and products and build coalitions to deliver change. [GEF Press Release]


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