Tuesday, March 03, 2015

‘It’s time to get serious about wildlife crime’ UN proclaims on World Wildlife Day

UN,  3 March 2015 – Illegal wildlife trade undermines rule of law, degrades ecosystems and severely hampers the efforts of rural communities striving to sustainably manage their natural resources, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today as the United Nations marked World Wildlife Day.

“Combatting this crime is not only essential for conservation efforts and sustainable development; it will contribute to achieving peace and security in troubled regions where conflicts are fuelled by these illegal activities,” said Mr. Ban in a message on the Day.

“Getting serious about wildlife crime means enrolling the support of all sections of society involved in the production and consumption of wildlife products, which are widely used as medicines, food, building materials, furniture, cosmetics, clothing and accessories,” the Secretary-General added.

World Wildlife Day – observed annually, with this year's theme 'It's time to get serious about wildlife crime'¬ – was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 2013 for 3 March, the day of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

According to the United Nations, as many as 100,000 African elephants were killed between 2010 and 2012. For forest elephants, the population declined by an estimated 62 per cent between 2002 and 2011. In Asia, poached African ivory may represent an end-user street value of $165 to $188 million. According to new figures released today, elephant poaching rates remained virtually unchanged in 2014 compared to 2013, and still exceeded natural elephant population growth rates, meaning a continued decline in elephant numbers overall is likely.

According to CITIES, 1,215 rhinos were poached in South Africa alone in 2014 – this translates to one rhino killed every eight hours. Approximately 94 per cent of rhino poaching takes place in South Africa, which has the largest remaining populations and rhino horn poached in 2014 is valued at an estimated $63 to $192 million.

The illicit trafficking in live great apes is an increasingly serious threat to chimpanzees, gorillas, and bonobos in Africa and orangutans in Asia, with seizures averaging 1.3 per week since 2014. It is estimated that a minimum of 220 chimpanzees, 106 orangutans, 33 bonobos, and 15 gorillas have been lost from the wild over the last 14 months, according to the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP)........................http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=50223#.VPXj7CwYE9Q


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