‘Steady Rise’ in Rhino Poaching, Elephant Killings


Human Wrongs Watch

Recognizing that wild animals and plants are an “irreplaceable part of the natural systems of the Earth,” the United Nations General Assembly on 30 July 2015 urged its Member States to take decisive steps to prevent, combat and eradicate the illegal trade in wildlife, “on both the supply and demand sides.”*

**African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch

Through the new resolution, the Assembly expressed serious concern over the steady rise in the level of rhino poaching and the alarmingly high levels of killings of elephants in Africa, which threaten those species with local extinction and, in some cases, with global extinction.

“Illegal wildlife trafficking not only threatens species and ecosystems; it affects the livelihoods of local communities and diminishes touristic attractions. It compromises efforts towards poverty eradication and the achievement of sustainable development,” said the President of the 69th session of the Assembly, in remarks read by Vice-President Denis G. Antoine.

Adopting a consensus text resolution, the 193-Member body encouraged Governments to adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes such as illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products, including flora and fauna and poaching.

A southern white rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Photo: Ryan Harvey

A southern white rhinoceros at Lake Nakuru, Kenya. Photo: Ryan Harvey

The resolution suggests “strengthening the legislation necessary for the prevention, investigation and prosecution of such illegal trade, as well as strengthening enforcement and criminal justice responses, acknowledging that the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime can provide valuable technical assistance in this regard.”

The General Assembly also calls upon Member States to make illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora involving organized criminal groups a “serious crime.”

Member States are equally encouraged to harmonize their judicial, legal and administrative regulations to support the exchange of evidence, as well as to establish “national-level inter-agency wildlife crime task forces.”

“The adoption of this resolution today and its effective implementation will be crucial in our collective efforts to combat illicit trafficking in wildlife worldwide,” adds the President’s statement.

*Source: UN.

**African elephants are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), as the animals are poached for their ivory tusks. Photo: UNEP GRID Arendal/Peter Prokosch

Read also:

Wildlife, Forest Crimes on the Rise, Devastate Environment, Generate Billions of Dollars to Criminal Gangs

Wildlife Crime One of Largest Global Organized Criminal Activities, alongside Drug, Arms, and Human Trafficking

Ever Wanted to Be an Illegal Logger? It’s a Lot Easier than You Think

Complicity in Illegal Logging Goes Far Beyond the Loggers

On World Day – Crime against Wildlife Worth Up to $10 Billion a Year

Wildlife, Forest Crime One of Largest Organized Criminal Activities, alongside Trafficking of Drugs, Arms, Humans

World Marches to Demand an End to Illegal Trade in Wildlife

Celebrating the Majesty of One of the Most Threatened Animals on World Elephant Day

The Agony of African Elephants: Killings Doubled; Illegal Ivory Trade Tripled

Massive Smuggling of Elephant Ivory, Rhino Horn and Great Apes

Illegal Trade in Wildlife and Timber Worth Over $200 Billion a Year, and Helps Finance Organized Crime and Terrorist Groups

UN Proposes New Treaty to Protect Elephants, Polar Bears, Sharks, Medicinal Plants

2015 Human Wrongs Watch


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