The 69th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly adopted a resolution on July 30th committing countries to step up their collective efforts to address wildlife crime and put an end to the global wildlife trafficking crisis.
The resolution was co-sponsored by the United States, Gabon, Germany and more than 80 other nations. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe commended the United Nations General Assembly for its action.
The UN resolution encourages countries to “adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes that have an impact on the environment, such as …trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products…as well as poaching.”
Action along the entire trade chain is encouraged, with Member States urged to treat wildlife trafficking involving organized criminal groups as a serious crime, implement anti-money laundering measures, establish national-level inter-agency wildlife crime task forces, strengthen judicial processes and law enforcement efforts, prevent and counter corruption, and reduce the demand for illegally traded wildlife products from protected species “using targeted strategies in order to influence consumer behavior.”
The UN resolution also strongly encourages countries to “develop sustainable and alternative livelihoods for communities affected by …trafficking of wildlife,” encouraging the “full engagement of the communities in and adjacent to wildlife habitats as active partners in conservation and sustainable use.”
“This action underscores the global commitment to the fight against the growing illegal wildlife trade and those who threaten the future of many of our planet’s species,” said Director Ashe. “As a world leader in wildlife and natural resources conservation, the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service is committed to working with others to reducing illegal demand, dismantling trafficking networks, and ensuring that wildlife thrives for future generations.”
“Wildlife trafficking is a global problem that demands a global solution, and we need to act now if we are going to save elephants, rhinos, tigers, pangolins and other iconic species,” Director Ashe warned. “The Service is proud to work with foreign governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, community leaders, and concerned citizens to achieve this goal. This resolution will serve as a valuable catalyst for strengthened actions across the globe to put an end to the poaching crisis.”