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Links between terrorism and wildlife trade

 

ENS Newswire - Sep 26, 2013

NEW YORK, New York, September 26, 2013 (ENS) – At the United Nations today, the war on wildlife crime was in the spotlight as heads of state and ministers detailed the impacts of poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking and called for a concerted international crackdown.

The high level meeting, convened under the title Poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking – a multidimensional crime and a growing challenge to the international community, was hosted by the governments of Germany and Gabon. It was attended by ministers and other high level representatives from Belgium, Chad, Colombia, Norway, Thailand, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

Jan Eliasson, deputy secretary-general of the United Nations, told participants, “Key species are being driven to extinction. The proceeds of illegal trade support transnational organized crime and terror organizations. Murder and violence go hand in hand with this despicable business. The illegal trade in wildlife and endangered species is linked to drug smugglers, gun runners and human trafficking. It is a threat to all three pillars of our Organization: human rights, peace and security, and development.

“Fragile and conflict-affected states are particularly vulnerable because they lack the means to adequately regulate the exploitation of natural resources and control borders. For example, the Lord’s Resistance Army is known to be engaged in the illegal ivory trade in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African Republic. The illicit gain it generates is sustaining conflict,” said Eliasson.

Illegal wildlife trade generates an estimated US$19 billion per year.


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