Participants Address Wildlife Trafficking on Margins of UNGA General Debate
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Heads of States and Government and Ministers from countries affected by poaching and wildlife trafficking, as well as UN agency representatives and other stakeholders, discussed how to combat wildlife trafficking and curb poaching at a luncheon on ‘Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: Towards Joint Action by the International Community.' Germany and Gabon hosted the event on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) General Debate 2014, with the aim of taking stock of progress on addressing the issues and raising awareness on illegal wildlife and poaching.

german-gabon26 September 2014: Heads of States and Government and Ministers from countries affected by poaching and wildlife trafficking, as well as UN agency representatives and other stakeholders, discussed how to combat wildlife trafficking and curb poaching at a luncheon on ‘Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: Towards Joint Action by the International Community.’ Germany and Gabon hosted the event on the margins of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) General Debate 2014, with the aim of taking stock of progress on addressing the issues and raising awareness on illegal wildlife and poaching.

In 2013, 20,000 African elephants were killed and South Africa lost 1,004 rhinos, according to UN Development Programme (UNDP) figures. In addition, trafficking has threatened Asian snow leopard and tiger populations as well as the Asiatic cheetah.

Speaking at the event, UNDP Administrator Helen Clark described poaching and illicit wildlife tracking as a human development issue, noting poaching affects rural communities, results in loss of life by rangers who confront poachers, and hurts tourism, which in turn negatively impacts community livelihoods. She said UNDP employs a three-pronged approach at national and local levels to addressing poaching: creating sustainable livelihoods: strengthening governance and law enforcement; and reducing demand for illegal wildlife products.

Clark called for continuing the fight against wildlife trafficking through the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC). Clark also highlighted several high-level meetings and discussions that have taken place on poaching and wildlife trafficking, including events in Chad, China, Gabon and the US.

At the UNGA General Debate, Gabon reiterated its commitments to the London Declaration, which Botswana, Chad, China, Ethiopia, Gabon, Indonesia, Tanzania and Viet Nam signed at an event in London, UK, in February 2014. The Declaration aims to eradicate demand for wildlife products, support sustainable development for communities affected by wildlife crime and strengthen law enforcement. Gabon also stressed its commitment to fight against poaching and a maintain moratorium on trade in ivory.

CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon moderated the event, where CITES was widely recognized as the principal legal instrument, with the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), for providing coordinated enforcement support to countries and regions. [Event Description] [UNDP Administrator Statement] [Gabon Statement at UNGA General Debate] [UK Press Release on London Declaration] [CITES Summary]


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