The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution urging Member States to take decisive steps at the national level to prevent, combat and eradicate both the supply of and demand for illegal trade in wildlife.
30 July 2015: The UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution urging Member States to take decisive steps at the national level to prevent, combat and eradicate both the supply of, and demand for, illegal trade in wildlife.
The resolution strongly encourages Member States to support the development of sustainable and alternative livelihoods for communities affected by illicit trafficking in wildlife and its adverse impacts. It also encourages the full engagement of the communities in and adjacent to wildlife habitats and urges those Member States that have not yet done so to consider joining the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). The resolution also acknowledges the ability of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to provide valuable technical assistance in efforts to fight illicit trade in wildlife.
“Illegal wildlife trafficking not only threatens species and ecosystems; it affects the livelihoods of local communities and diminishes touristic attractions. It compromises efforts towards poverty eradication and the achievement of sustainable development,” said UN General Assembly President Sam Kutesa in a written statement. Also addressing the resolution, Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Achim Steiner said, “In particular, I hope this resolution will help curb the rampant poaching of elephants and rhinos, whose slaughter threatens not only the health of the species, but also local ecosystems, communities and livelihoods.” John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, welcomed the adoption of the resolution, noting that it increases the political resolve to combat wildlife crimes.
The 25-member UN Group of Friends on Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking, which was established in New York, US, in December 2013, and is Co-Chaired by Gabon and Germany, played a key role in developing the draft resolution. The two countries organized two high-level side events on poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking in September 2013 and September 2014 at the margins of the UN General Assembly, which advanced the preparation of the resolution. [UN General Assembly Resolution A/69/L.80] [UN Press Release] [CITES Press Release] [UNEP Press Release] [CITES Info-graphic]