United for Wildlife alliance to tackle illegal wildlife trade

The Duke of Cambridge will join seven of the world’s most influential field-based conservation organisations on Wednesday 12 February, at the United for Wildlife symposium, hosted by the Zoological Society of London, to discuss a coordinated international effort to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

United for Wildlife, under the Presidency of the Duke, hopes to use its powerful global alliance to address both the supply and demand issues of illegal wildlife trafficking and to support the sustainable development of affected communities and bring those involved in the illegal trade to justice.

The two-day symposium, which began on Tuesday 11 February, is reviewing the impacts of international wildlife trafficking with presentations from some of the world’s leading conservation experts outlining the most recent evidence on species affected, global security issues, trans-national crime and links with poverty.

The main focus of the symposium, is finding sustainable solutions. Evidence underlying solutions and a vision for how they can be implemented are being discussed, with the symposium providing a forum for sharing experiences from those involved in fighting wildlife crime as well as those active in related fields, to provide a fuller picture and insight in combating wildlife trafficking.

A stash of ivory seized by authorities. Credit: J A Bruson/FFI
A stash of ivory seized by authorities. Credit: J A Bruson/FFI

Tuesday’s session looked at stopping illegal trade at source, in those countries in which trafficked wildlife originates. Topics covered ranged from securing wildlife strongholds, the use of new technologies to protect wildlife, strengthening national capacity to fight wildlife crime, countering paramilitary poaching, through to supporting the legal process and overcoming local corruption.

Wednesday’s session, which will be streamed live from 9.20am GMT, will address the international dimension of trafficking with presentations including lessons from combating other serious international crime, such as drugs and arms, experiences shared from operations and initiatives against international wildlife crime and exploring the role that international policy and trade frameworks can play in addressing wildlife crime, with a keynote presentation from Fauna & Flora International’s Nav Dayanand on Free Trade Agreements as Policy Tools to Tackle Wildlife Trafficking.

United for Wildlife is a partnership between Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK, the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Foundation.

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