14 May 2014
Ending the illegal wildlife trade is a shared responsibility, says UN crime chief
On 13 May at a special event in Vienna, Yury Fedotov, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), urged the international community to ‘come together at the highest political level’ to end wildlife and forest crime. Fedotov further warned that ‘[t]he rate of poaching is such that a number of iconic and lesser known species risk being wiped out over the next decade – and we will all bear responsibility for those losses.’ It is a shared responsibility to prevent such losses, stressed Fedotov.
This ‘ruthless trade’ reaps USD 8-10 billion per year, which ranks among the illicit profits gained from trafficking of humans, arms, and drugs. Fedotov stated that the illegal wildlife trade is a transnational organised crime that requires effective legislation and criminal justice systems. The UNODC currently works with governments and others, such as the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), to improve legislation, law enforcement, and criminal justice systems to help bring an end to the illegal wildlife trade.