Helen Clark: Speech to Heads of States and Dignitaries at International Conservation Caucus Foundation Reception

Sep 28, 2015

It is my great pleasure to join you in the campaign to stop the poaching and illicit trafficking of wildlife.

International demand for elephant ivory, rhino horn and other wildlife products is soaring. Wildlife poaching and trafficking is a global threat, with Africa on the frontline as criminals rob it of its iconic species.

To respond to this challenge requires:

* Improving the livelihoods of families and communities who live on the front lines of protected areas by addressing
rural poverty, diversifying livelihoods, and supporting community-based natural resource management.

* Strong governance and “all of government” approaches to join up customs and environment agencies, intelligence services, the judiciary, and the military.

* Stamping out corruption everywhere it exists.

* Raising awareness in the countries receiving trafficked wildlife products, and strengthening global co-operation against the trade.

The historic first ever United Nations General Assembly Resolution calling for urgent action on tackling poaching and illicit trafficking in wildlife was passed in July.

UNDP applauds the hard work and dedication of Gabon and Germany and all Member States involved in co-sponsoring the Resolution. It demonstrates that poaching and the illicit trafficking in wildlife will not be tolerated by the international community.

The SDGs adopted just last week also call for actions to end poaching and trafficking, and include two standalone goals dedicated to wildlife conservation.

Together the UN General Assembly Resolution and the SDGs provide the vision, mandate, and necessary framework for decisive global action.

The United Nations is committed to strengthening its support to countries to act on this mandate. UNDP is already working closely with partners in Africa and beyond to this end.

Together, UNDP, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and UN Environment Programme (UNEP), with the Secretariat of CITES and other Conventions, and support from the Global Environment Facility, the World Bank and others, are working to roll out practical support to countries tackling this crisis.

I hope the commitments to tackling illicit poaching and trafficking made at this evening’s event will contribute to strengthened action.

I wish you all an enjoyable evening.

UNDP Around the world