The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) has released a report titled, 'Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment,' which highlight,s among other issues, the scale of ivory poaching and its threat to elephant populations in the region.
4 September 2013: The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has released a report, titled ‘Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment,’ which highlights the scale of ivory poaching and its threat to elephant populations in the region, among other issues.
The report notes that Eastern Africa is a source of illicit ivory, but also an important transit area. Most of the recent large seizures of illicit ivory, of unknown origin, were exported from either Kenya or Tanzania. The publication highlights that the share of large seizures trafficked through these two countries appears to be growing.
While the African elephant is not currently deemed endangered, the species does face a reduction in genetic diversity, and decreases in populations could seriously undermine local tourism revenue. Finally, with armed groups crossing borders to raid elephant herds and the increased association of the ivory and arms trade, ivory poaching is claiming human lives, with rangers especially at risk.
The report suggests that illicit markets in Eastern Africa often originate or terminate on other continents, and in the case of ivory, this is primarily Asia. As a result, the report says that purely local interventions are inadequate to resolve the underlying problem, and calls for evaluating and addressing these markets at a global level, while strengthening local law enforcement to protect Eastern Africa. [Publication: Transnational Organized Crime in Eastern Africa: A Threat Assessment] [UN News Release]