Recognising the significant and detrimental economic, environmental, security-related, and social impacts of the illegal trade in wildlife, 42 countries adopted the Hanoi Statement on Illegal Wildlife Trade on 17 November 2016. The Statement that was adopted at the Hanoi Conference on illegal wildlife trade included formal commitments from governments to take a collective and decisive action to put an end to poaching and illegal wildlife trade.
Represented by a high-level global and regional delegation, IUCN reaffirmed its commitment to combating illegal wildlife trade at the Conference.
“IUCN remains firmly committed to turning back the tide on illegal wildlife trade by using science-based research to identify and capitalise on ways to tackle this issue at the community level, as well as both national and international levels,” said IUCN President Mr. Zhang Xinsheng at the Conference.
Globally, IUCN works with its member WWF to combat wildlife trafficking through the international non-governmental organisation, TRAFFIC. TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network and lead organisation in this sector, works on combating illegal trade in wild animals and plants within a framework of both biodiversity conservation and sustainable development.
In Asia, IUCN is currently implementing the second phase of the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund programmme (CEPF) in the Indo-Burma region.
Founded in 2000, CEPF provides grants to non-governmental and private sector organisations, to develop and implement projects that help protect biodiversity. Many of these initiatives directly tackle illegal wildlife trade.
“Illegal wildlife trade is one of the principal causes of biodiversity loss in the Indo-Burma hotspot. As per the programme’s strategic priorities, CEPF focuses on investing in projects that demonstrate innovative responses to trafficking and consumption of wildlife,” said James Tallant, Regional Implementation Team Manager for CEPF. “These projects range from supporting enforcement agencies to unravel high-level wildlife trade networks, to supporting campaigns that focus on demand-reduction for wildlife products among consumers, and building public support for stricter and more effective wildlife law enforcement."
In China, TRAFFIC has been implementing a CEPF-funded project titled ‘Starving the Supply: Interventions to Curb Illegal Wildlife Trade from Southeast Asia into Southern China’. This project aims to prevent wildlife trafficking by providing specialised training to customs officials, expanding the role of wildlife detector dogs, and facilitating policy discussions on illegal wildlife trade.
In Viet Nam, the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) supports rhino conservation by tackling illegal trade and consumption of rhino horn, improving understanding of the illegal trade, and increasing domestic media coverage.
Other NGOs that work on strengthening public participation on tackling illegal wildlife trade in Indo-Burma include local non-governmental organisation, ‘Education for Nature-Viet Nam’ (ENV). With funding from CEPF, the organisation mobilises Vietnamese citizens to develop a national volunteer network, manages a national wildlife trade hotline, and is currently working on securing long-term financing from corporate sources and membership donations.
Founded in 2000, the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund is a global leader in enabling civil society to participate in and benefit from conserving some of the world’s most critical ecosystems by providing grants for organisations to help protect biodiversity hotspots, Earth’s most biologically rich yet threatened areas. CEPF is a joint initiative of l'Agence Française de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Japan, the MacArthur Foundation and the World Bank.