|[Published: Thursday February 13 2014]
London,12 Feb. - (ANA) - As experts from around the world gather in London to discuss the illegal international trade in wildlife, a new report examines the impacts of this trade on national and international security. Global Impacts of the Illegal Wildlife Trade, by Katherine Lawson and Alex Vines, makes a number of recommendations to encourage a renewed international response.
The report also finds that:
The illegal wildlife trade is worth at least $10 billion per year. The economic gains of perpetrators of the illegal wildlife trade could, if recovered, be used by governments to counter its global impacts, which include the erosion of state authority in countries supplying elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger parts; the proliferation of civil conflict in these states; and national security threats across consumer, demand and transit countries involved in the trade.
If the current rates of poaching continue, the populations of African elephants and rhinos in southern Africa will once again be pushed to the brink of extinction.
Despite the signing of various multilateral agreements, renewed commitment to the fight against the illegal wildlife trade is needed to implement and enforce legislation prohibiting the trade, to support wildlife source countries (such as the African elephant range states), to tackle the rising demand for these products and to break down the links to transnational organized crime.
Failure to do so will ensure that transnational organized crime operatives involved in the illegal wildlife trade will continue to cause billions of dollars of economic loss to governments, fuelling civil conflict in already unstable states and funding illegal activity across the world, threatening the stability and security of states involved in all aspects of this trade and beyond. -(ANA)
AB/ANA/ 12 February 2014 - - -