Political leaders from 41 countries pledged their support in the fight against wildlife trafficking at last week’s historic London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.
The last few years have seen a dramatic increase in global wildlife trafficking, now considered the fourth most lucrative form of transnational organized crime and totaling $19 billion annually. This grisly crisis reached the highest political levels in January 2014, prompting the U.N. Security Council to adopt a resolution sanctioning “individuals and entities” which use wildlife trafficking to support armed groups in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A separate sanctions regime targeting the link between illegal wildlife trade and regional instability was also adopted for the Central African Republic.
At the London Conference, a comprehensive Declaration “calling upon the international community to act together to bring [wildlife trafficking] to an end” was adopted by 41 countries (download it here).
The Declaration calls for a series of actions (underscored by a series of tangible action steps) to be taken in order to achieve that goal — for example, “eradicating the market for illegal wildlife products”.