Tackling wildlife crime, stepping up anti-corruption efforts and enhancing access to information and justice are key to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Out of Africa: How West and Central Africa have become the epicentre of ivory and pangolin scale trafficking to Asia details how endemic corruption, weak or absent rule of law, low levels of development and hotspots of armed conflict have left the region wide open to exploitation by well-organised transnational criminal gangs.
The global illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is now recognised as a serious transnational organised crime. Although there are various estimates of the scale of the crime, the most commonly quoted figure puts the proceeds from IWT in a range of $7-23 billion a year.
These resolutions, decisions and recommendations demonstrate that CITES Parties have agreed on a mandate to address domestic trade issues, including legal and illegal domestic trade, in certain circumstances. Below is a non-exhaustive list of examples of such recommendations adopted by the CoP.
Despite the rapid proliferation of organised Vietnamese wildlife trafficking networks driving illegal wildlife trade globally, the response from the Government of Vietnam has been inadequate and disproportionate to the scale of wildlife trafficking implicating Vietnamese criminal groups.
The National Ivory Action Plans (NIAP) process under CITES is a framework developed in response to the elephant poaching crisis continuing in Africa. The NIAP process is a very useful initiative which, if implemented properly, should contribute significantly to reductions in elephant poaching and illegal trade in ivory