41 Governments pledged to end wildlife trafficking at the historical London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

41 Governments pledged to end wildlife trafficking at the historical London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

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”.

Continue reading …


Wildlife trafficking, particularly ivory, is a serious risk to peace and security in Central Africa. Photo: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS

Wildlife trafficking, particularly ivory, is a serious risk to peace and security in Central Africa. Photo: Gary M. Stolz / USFWS

UN Secretary Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warns that wildlife trafficking, particularly the illicit ivory trade, “constitutes a grave menace to sustainable peace and security” in Central Africa.

In his report to the UN Security Council, the Secretary-General writes that ivory obtained from the massacre of elephants may be “an important source of funding for armed groups, including LRA” (Lord’s Resistance Army). In addition, “more and more sophisticated and powerful weapons” — possibly “originating from the fallout in Libya” — are being used to slaughter elephants. The situation is dire in Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Gabon.

Continue reading …



Ivory Gang Murders 7 People, 13 Okapi at DRC Wildlife Reserve (via Annamiticus)

On June 24th, marauders armed with AK-47 rifles launched a vicious attack on the Okapi Wildlife Reserve Headquarters and Epulu Station in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and murdered seven people. 13 captive okapi were also killed in the raid, including some who had been “wildlife ambassadors…

Continue reading »