Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Wildlife Trafficking. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα Wildlife Trafficking. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Κυριακή, 16 Νοεμβρίου 2014

US helps African country's fight against wildlife trafficking

The United States on Friday committed 600 million rand (about $54 million) to the fight against wildlife trafficking in Africa.

Of the funding, over 30 million rand (about $2.7 million) will be dedicated to helping wildlife organisations in South Africa, US Under-Secretary Catherine Novelli said in Pretoria.

In addition to the funding, US will also donate to South African park rangers 750,000 dollars worth of survival, surveillance and investigative equipment to support their efforts to combat poaching and illegal wildlife, said Novelli who was on a visit to South Africa.

These trailers will carry preventive equipment to crime scene, ensuring that rangers and environmental management inspectors have the tools they need to properly collect evidence, according to Novelli.

Novelli handed over two surveillance and investigative crime scene equipment carrying trailers to rangers in KwaZulu-Natal and Free State provinces.

The donation came as wildlife trafficking, particularly rhino poaching, was on the rise in Africa.

South Africa, home to more than 80 percent of the world's rhino population, bears the brunt of rhino poaching.

Since the start of the poaching in 2008, South Africa has lost over 2,600 rhinos -- a figure that, despite so much effort, increases daily, according to the Stop Rhino Poaching organization.

 Sources: Xinhua - globaltimes.cn
16/11/14
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Παρασκευή, 10 Οκτωβρίου 2014

Interpol announces special team to combat illegal ivory trafficking

International police organisation Interpol announced on Tuesday it would establish a team to target ivory trafficking and more generally, environmental crime, in Africa. The new team, based in Nairobi, will help further the organisation's Project Wisdom, which combats elephant and rhinoceros poaching and the illegal trade of ivory.

"The global fight against illegal trafficking has just been given a significant boost," said Australian High Commissioner Geoff Tooth as the initiative was unveiled at the Australian High Commission in Kenya.


David Higgins, head of Interpol's Environmental Security Unit said that the team will help eastern African countries in their fight against "significant transnational animal trafficking cases."

There is a large market for ivory in Asia, where it is often used in traditional medicine to treat a variety of ailments ranging from fevers to nosebleeds.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the African elephant population has dropped from 3 to 5 million to approximately 400,000 over the last century.

In Kenya, the elephant population dropped by 85 per cent between 1973 and 1989.

Kenya is part of the "gang of 19" countries identified by CITES, the international regulatory body for trade in wildlife, as not doing enough to curb trafficking. Other countries include Tanzania, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, China, and Egypt.

On October 4, hundreds of Kenyans marched to demand that the government take action against rhino and elephant poaching. Similar protests, dubbed the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, took place all over the world.
indian.ruvr.ru

10/10/14
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Κυριακή, 29 Ιουνίου 2014

UN chief 'adopts' lion cub to support efforts against wildlife trafficking

UN,  28 June 2014 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today adopted a lion cub in Nairobi National Park as a sign of support for efforts against the trafficking of animals around the world, following a week of high-level United Nations discussions on the environment.

“I adopted this lion cub with the hope that all human beings and animals can live in peace and harmony,” Mr. Ban told reporters in the Kenyan capital. “Human beings should know how to live harmoniously with our Mother Nature.”


Mr. Ban also said he adopted the six-month old cub, whose Kiswahili name Tumaini means “hope”, to show solidarity for the preservation efforts of the Kenyan people, and as a token of his concern for the Kenya Wildlife Service and park rangers.
“Wildlife crime is not simply a threat to animals,” Mr. Ban said. “With its links to organised crime and even insurgent groups, it is a major security issue.”

“The same routes used to smuggle wildlife and timber across countries and continents are often used to smuggle weapons, drugs and people,” he added.

During a meeting this afternoon with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Mr. Ban discussed international terrorism and security issues, particularly how the UN and the Kenyan Government can work together to reinforce and enhance the capacity of Kenyan security forces.

Noting also the continued abduction of Nigerian school girls, Mr. Ban said terrorism must be addressed comprehensively: “Not one single country or one single organization can handle this on its own. We have to have unity and solidarity among nations.”

Last night, Mr. Ban attended the closing ceremony of the inaugural UN Environment Assembly (UNEA), which addressed illegal wildlife trafficking, as well as sustainable consumption and production, the green economy, and the links between environment, poverty and human well-being.

The first session of the UNEA concluded after five days with 16 decisions and resolutions and a ministerial outcome document to encourage international action on major environmental issues.

Climate change was a common theme in many discussions, Mr. Ban said, and will remain a top priority ahead of next year's discussions towards a global deal on climate change at the Climate Change Conference in Paris in 2015.

To mobilize political momentum and catalyse ambitious action on the ground, Mr. Ban will convene a climate summit on 23 September in New York for leaders from Government, business, finance and civil society.

“To get the world on a trajectory to limit global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius, we need more large-scale projects such as Kenya is backing,” Mr. Ban said, noting the country's innovative development with solar, wind and geothermal renewable energy projects.

More than 1,200 high-level participants, including UN officials, diplomatic and civil society delegations, participated in the historic first session of the UNEA, held under the theme “A Life of Dignity for All.”

The body, created in answer to a call made by governments at the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) for a more representative entity dealing with the issue, includes all 193 UN Member States sitting alongside major stakeholders. UNEA now plans to meet every two years, and will replace the Governing Council of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 
[un.org]
28/6/14
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Πέμπτη, 22 Μαΐου 2014

New EU initiative to protect biodiversity and fight wildlife crime

European Commission, MEMO, Brussels, 22 May 2014:

B4Life: United for Biodiversity
  1. Why do we need EU Biodiversity for Life? What is the value-added?
EU Biodiversity for Life (B4Life) marks a change in the way the EU provides support to protect biodiversity in developing countries. In the face of the growing global threats to biodiversity, it provides for more resources, strengthened capacity and better coordination with partners.

B4Life is one of EuropeAid’s new flagship initiatives, designed to encourage broad, cross-sector partnerships to tackle major development challenges. For B4Life, this means addressing the related challenges of protecting biodiversity and building sustainable livelihoods in a green economy.
B4Life thus responds both to the growing threat to global ecosystems, including from land use changes, unsustainable use of natural resources, poaching and wildlife crime, pollution and climate change; and to the need of the poorest communities, over 70% of whom live in rural areas and depend directly on ecosystem services for their subsistence.
  1. What are ecosystem services?
Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from the wide variety of ecosystems across the Earth. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as climate regulation, climate change mitigation, flood and disease control, pollination, and the maintenance of soil fertility; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as genetic diversity and habitats, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.
  1. What sort of activities might be eligible for B4Life funding?
B4Life will include projects with biodiversity as their main objective. This will include, for example, projects to support the sustainable management of protected areas, to develop trade in biodiversity-related products for sustainable livelihoods, to reduce deforestation and degradation of mangroves for the protection of coasts and nursery habitats for fish, and to increase monitoring and information sharing to fight wildlife crime.
  1. Which regions/countries are targeted by the initiative?
In line with the EU’s Agenda for Change (its policy blueprint to target its resources where they are most needed and can be the most effective), B4Life will focus on those developing countries most in need and with the greatest potential, by paying particular attention to Least Developed Countries and countries containing “biodiversity hotspots”, the places where ecosystems and their services are the richest but also the most threatened, like the Congo Basin, Madagascar, the West African forests, Tropical Andes, Mesoamerica, Indian Western Ghats, Kalimantan…
  1. What is the timeframe of the initiative?
B4Life will run for the current EU financial period, 2014-2020. During this period, there will be regular calls for project proposals according to the needs identified.
  1. How will it work?
A “B4Life Facility” will be created to manage and coordinate delivery of the initiative. The Facility will provide technical support, enhance communication and coordination towards achieving international biodiversity targets and coherence, promote knowledge exchange for partners and beneficiaries, and enhance the visibility and coherence of the EU biodiversity-related interventions.
  1. What is the ‘Wildlife Crisis Window’?
The wildlife crisis window is a contribution to addressing the wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis throughout the entire chain of wildlife consumption.
The challenge of wild life trafficking is huge and has recently experienced a dramatic acceleration. Illegal wildlife trade of endangered species has a major impact on biodiversity and represents a real threat to national security of many countries, and especially in Africa. Unprecedented poaching levels and sophisticated smuggling capabilities are indicative of organised criminal activity, severely compromising the security of entire communities.
The B4Life wildlife crisis window will scale-up the means allocated to tackle this issue, while addressing both supply- and demand-side, at local, national, regional and international levels. This will include increased protection of priority areas, monitoring and investigation measures and support to organisations specialised in the fight against international trafficking of endangered species.
[europa.eu]
22/5/14
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Πέμπτη, 10 Απριλίου 2014

Environment: Experts meet to discuss how to better fight wildlife trafficking in the EU and globally

wildlife trafficing AFRICA
European Commission, Press release, Brussels, 10 April 2014 -
Following an invitation by the European Commission, 170 experts met today in Brussels to discuss how the EU can better fight wildlife trafficking.
The conference marked the end of a public consultation which was launched on 7 February with a Communication by the Commission (COM (2014) 64 final). The background of the Commission's initiative is the surge in wildlife trafficking globally over the last years which has reached a level that threatens the survival of some endangered species and undermines good governance and sustainable development. Organised crime is significantly involved in this lucrative business, also within the EU.

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik who opened the conference said: "The damages caused by wildlife trafficking are enormous, and the efforts we undertake to combat it effectively will have to match the gravity of the situation." He also conveyed a message from the EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström: "Wildlife trafficking can be a very profitable business where risks of detection and sanctions are lower than for example drug trafficking. We need to strengthen our fight against this environmental crime."
Discussions focused on how to strengthen enforcement within the EU, how to better fight organised wildlife crime and how to ensure a more strategic diplomatic and development support role for the EU against wildlife crime.
Participants of the conference, which will continue tomorrow with dedicated workshops, came from 26 Member States, and from source and market countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Key international organisations such as Europol, Eurojust, Interpol, different part of the UN system and the World Bank were also represented. Civil society was actively participating through more than twenty different organisations. The European Parliament reiterated its call for an EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking.
It was the first time representatives from all parts of government concerned (foreign affairs, development, environment, home affairs and justice) came together with practitioners from the entire enforcement chain, reflecting the need to develop a more comprehensive approach to what has become a major and complex organized crime problem and a threat to sustainable development.
Experts highlighted a number of problems for enforcement at EU level such as lack of resources, insufficient cooperation between agencies, in some Member States non-deterrent sanction levels and the lack of reliable data to analyse the scope of the problem. It was also discussed how cooperation between Member States in cross-border cases could be further strengthened. Regarding organized crime, the need to also follow the trail of the illegal revenues generated through wildlife trafficking was highlighted.
For better supporting global efforts against wildlife trafficking, experts stressed the need for improved enforcement of existing international rules and the importance of high level diplomatic actions towards countries affected by wildlife trafficking. They also discussed how to maximise international cooperation to investigate and sanction transnational organised networks and how to best integrate wildlife crime among the donor's priorities for development cooperation assistance.
The Commission will analyse carefully all the recommendations provided by the experts in the consultation and at the conference today and will on this basis review existing policies and measures. 
[europa.eu]
10/4/14
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Παρασκευή, 14 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

More than 40 countries sign declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife

LONDON, February 14, (ITAR-TASS/. Officials from 46 countries, including Russia, on Thursday signed an intergovernmental declaration on fighting with illegal trade in wildlife.
The Russian delegation to the conference at Lancaster House where the declaration was signed was led by Natural Resources Minister Vladimir Kirillov.
The document outlines the practical steps towards curbing the illegal trade in wild animals and wildlife artifacts, including rhino horns and elephant tusks. It envisions amendments in the national legislations of signatory countries that will toughen the punishment for poachers, step up cross-border coordination and improve information exchange.

World Wildlife fund says the damage inflicted by poaching annually is estimated at $ 9.83 billion. Illicit production of rhino’s horns jumped up by a factor of 75 in the period of 2007 through 2013.
The horns are a widely used ingredient of traditional Chinese medicine and they surface more and more often on the black markets in Asia.
Apart from this, wildlife artifacts are often purchased by wealthy customers in Asian countries as trophies.
Experts point out the risk of extinction looming over rhinos, elephants and tigers, as tens of thousands of these animals fall victim to poaching every year.
The next conference on prevention of illegal trade in wildlife will be held in Botswana in 2015.
 http://en.itar-tass.com/world/719150?utm_medium=rss20
14/2/14
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Παρασκευή, 7 Φεβρουαρίου 2014

Togolese Efforts to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. -Press Statement Jen Psaki (Department Spokesperson).

Secretary Kerry called Togolese President Faure Gnassingbe today to commend his government on the major strides being made to combat international wildlife trafficking, including the recent arrest of three major illegal wildlife traffickers in Togo.

Togo has sent a strong message to the world about its commitment to protecting Africa’s elephant populations. In the last month, Togolese authorities have made multiple seizures of illegal ivory, totaling more than four tons. Individually and collectively, these are the largest seizures of illegal ivory in West Africa’s history.
In a separate incident in August 2013, the Government of Togo arrested notorious wildlife trafficker Emile N’Bouke. Togo’s efforts contribute to the worldwide struggle against illegal wildlife trafficking and the U.S. continues to partner with Togo in combating this transnational threat.

Wildlife trafficking is a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise that has expanded from a conservation concern to a security threat. The increasing involvement of organized crime in poaching and wildlife trafficking promotes corruption, strengthens illicit trade routes, destabilizes economies and communities that depend on wildlife for their livelihoods, and contributes to the spread of disease.

In July 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13648 to marshal the efforts of the U.S. Government to meet this challenge at home and to assist foreign governments combating wildlife trafficking and related transnational organized crime.

In November 2013, the State Department also announced its first reward offer of up to $1 million under the President’s Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime for information on a prominent wildlife trafficking network in Southeast Asia.
 http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/02/221426.htm
6/2/14
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