Further funding secured to fight wildlife crime

The government has announced it will be providing £4 million of funding to help fight wildlife crime, as endangered species are at threat from traffickers and hunters.

Funds will go to the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) which is comprised of five organisations that provide operational support, training and builds law enforcement, prosecutorial and judicial authorities.

The announcement was made at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Panama where the government says it is pushing for stronger protections for threatened species, like pangolins and requiem sharks.

Reports of wildlife crimes rose by between 35-90% in 2020 according to the Wildlife and Countryside Link, while the illegal wildlife trade has been estimated to be worth £17 billion a year.

two elephants walking on grass covered ground

Illegal traders often have links to violent crime networks, fueling corruption, instability and impacting economic development, by preventing poorer communitiues from building sustainable livelihoods.

Environment Secretary Thérèse Coffey said: ‘We want to keep protecting our most endangered plants and animals. This £4 million of funding going to the ICCWC will help tackle criminals and stop this vile trade.

‘The UK is showing global leadership on conservation and proposing stronger protections for a range of rare species at this summit such as pangolins and sharks. We will also be driving global efforts to secure a post-2020 global biodiversity framework at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal next month.’

Money committed by the government will go towards the next phase of ICCWC programming to fight wildlife crimes through detection, disruption and detention of criminals.

It will be used to provide training courses, tools, services and capacity building activities to strengthen criminal justice and co-operation between nations facing illegal wildlife trade.

The UK is also advocating for CITES’ role in reducing zootonic disease to be enhanced, better communication with locals and indigenous peoples and an continued ban on international commercial trade in ivory and rhino horn.

Photo by AJ Robbie


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