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Published:  2015-03-02 Views:  874
Author:  Fanie
Published in:  Wildlife/Wildlewe
Support Word Wildlife Day - 3 March 2015

Tomorrow (3 March 2015) is world wildlife day. It will be good to give a thought to our wildlife heritage being slowly depleted. One of the increasing factors is wildlife crime. It is time that the world's attention be drawn to this slowly increasing scourge. We in Africa are especially vulnerable. In Hartbeespoort, we have a special responsibility towards recognising wildlife crime and taking measures to prevent it. 

 

 

Message from the UN Secretary General:

 

THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
--
MESSAGE ON WORLD WILDLIFE DAY
3 March 2015

 
The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 3 March – the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) – as World Wildlife Day.  On this second observance of the Day, the UN system, its Member States and a wide range of partners from around the world are highlighting the simple yet firm message that “It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime”.
 
Illegal trade in wildlife has become a sophisticated transnational form of crime, comparable to other pernicious examples, such as trafficking of drugs, humans, counterfeit items and oil.  It is driven by rising demand, and is often facilitated by corruption and weak governance.  There is strong evidence of the increased involvement of organized crime networks and non-State armed groups.
 
Illegal wildlife trade undermines the rule of law and threatens national security; it degrades ecosystems and is a major obstacle to the efforts of rural communities and indigenous peoples striving to sustainably manage their natural resources.  Combatting this crime is not only essential for conservation efforts and sustainable development, it will contribute to achieving peace and security in troubled regions where conflicts are fuelled by these illegal activities.
 
Getting serious about wildlife crime means enrolling the support of all sections of society involved in the production and consumption of wildlife products, which are widely used as medicines, food, building materials, furniture, cosmetics, clothing and accessories.  Law enforcement efforts must be supported by the wider community.  Businesses and the general public in all countries can play a major role by, for example, refusing to buy or auction illegal ivory and rhinoceros horn, and insisting that products from the world’s oceans and tropical forests have been legally obtained and sustainably sourced. 
 
On this World Wildlife Day, I urge all consumers, suppliers and governments to treat crimes against wildlife as a threat to our sustainable future.  It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime. 
 

 

See below 2 additional messages in this regard, from the website:

www.wildlifeday.org

 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

 

Statement for International World Wildlife Day 3 March 2015

Wildlife crime is slowly stealing the world around us and selling it to the highest bidder. It is an activity without remorse that cares only for the quick profits of today, while ignoring the terrible losses of tomorrow.

Animals are being senselessly slaughtered every day for their body parts or stolen from their natural habitats and trafficked to satisfy the exotic pet trade. In other parts of the world, vast swathes of forest are being destroyed to make expensive furniture or other wood products.

The damage that this worldwide predation does to our environment and global biodiversity is staggering. An estimated 1,215 rhinos were poached in South Africa in 2014; while in the last decade, 1,000 rangers have been killed in the global struggle to protect wildlife.

Up to 30 per cent of the global timber trade is also estimated to be illicit and tropical deforestation now adds up to 10-15 per cent of global emissions. Like the damage done to conservation and the environment, the human cost is also prohibitive. Wildlife crime and attendant corruption remove funds from social and economic development and threaten people’s livelihoods, as well as national security.

To confront this crime that generates billions of dollars in profits each year, and uses many of the same smuggling routes as drug and human trafficking, the risk of detection needs to be increased. Greater cooperation and coordination is needed, and policy makers and law enforcement agencies must prioritise this crime as a matter of urgency. Public awareness and education is also needed to curb demand.

On World Wildlife Day, I call on the international community to recognize that wildlife crime is a crime under the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime that continues to grow in size and scope. Any sanctions must adequately reflect this.

I also urge the international community to acknowledge that this is an intergenerational crime and that the offences committed today are denying the heritage of this beautiful planet to future generations. Everyone becomes impoverished because of this activity. To confront this crime we need to join a global partnership united by the same belief: it’s time to get serious about wildlife crime.

Yury Fedotov
Executive Director
UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

Year:
2015


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