Global transport leaders sign historic declaration at Buckingham Palace in fight to shut down Illegal wildlife trafficking routes

Mar 15, 2016

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is proud to be a signatory to an historic declaration at Buckingham Palace committing leaders of the transportation industry globally to taking major steps to fight illicit wildlife trafficking, a move hailed by HRH The Duke of Cambridge as “a game changer in the race against extinction.”
The Buckingham Palace Declaration commits signatories to 11 commitments that will raise standards across the transportation industry to prevent traffickers of wildlife products from exploiting weaknesses as they seek to covertly move their products from killing fields to marketplaces. The commitments focus on information sharing, staff training, technological improvements, and resource sharing across companies and organisations worldwide.

The commitments will also see the world's leading transportation firms assisting those in poorer nations who are in need of expertise and new systems.

Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support stated, “The declaration is a landmark achievement for UNDP because the recent escalation in the illegal wildlife trade not only threatens biodiversity but has the potential to undo hard-won development gains. Illegal wildlife trade undermines national and regional security, democratic governance, prospects for sustainable development and threatens livelihoods.”
UNDP is a member of the United for Wildlife transport taskforce, involved since its inception by HRH the Duke of Cambridge in December 2015 and supports the aims and objectives of the taskforce on engaging the transport sector in preventing illicit trade in protected species of wild fauna and flora. Amongst the other signatory members are the World Customs Organisation and importantly the Convention on Illegal Trade in Endangered Species of Flora and Fauna (CITES) – the world's regulatory instrument on trade in endangered species.
“UNDP brings its experience in tackling illegal wildlife trade, global support to wildlife conservation initiatives and previous work in effective public private partnerships to the taskforce. We also bring an opportunity to combine public financial and technical support with private sector initiatives in meeting the commitments being announced today,” Martínez-Solimán  added.
Adriana Dinu, Executive Coordinator and Director of UNDP Global Environmental Finance in the Policy Bureau stated, “UNDP plays an active role in combating poaching, recognizing that there is an additional need to build capacities in countries to address the problem. We are building our support on our extensive biodiversity and ecosystems portfolio, covering over 130 countries and 500 projects with US$ 1.5 billion in funding and US$ 3.5 billion in co-financing. This includes coordination to achieve synergies between governance, anti-corruption, poverty, crisis recovery and biodiversity management.”
Around the world many different UNDP projects are tackling wildlife crime in a variety of ways, including increased efforts to protect snow leopards listed as “endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Some of UNDP’s key involvements include participation in the Global Snow Leopard and Ecosystem Protection Programme, an international coalition to address threats to the snow leopard across all 12 range countries of the snow leopards in Asia.
UNDP is working to enhance management capacity and cross-border cooperation for the protection of trans-boundary snow leopard landscapes in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan, GEF-funded projects.
UNDP is also building the enforcement capabilities of national parks such as Tanzania National Parks, through a GEF-funded project Strengthening the Protected Area Network in Southern Tanzania. The project includes training a rapid response team of rangers, providing digital communications systems and strengthening intelligence units.
In the last two years UNDP has developed a three-pronged response framework, in addressing escalating challenges: to (i) create sustainable livelihoods and economic for communities; (ii) strengthen governance and law enforcement including effective legal frameworks and deterrents; and (iii) eradicate the demand for illegal wildlife products.

UNDP is also a substantive partner in a new Global Environment Facility (GEF) programme set up to tackle illegal wildlife trade.

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UNDP and partners call for increased efforts to protect wildlife and reduce illegal wildlife trade on World Wildlife Day

Contacts for Information

For Technical Inquiries: Paul Harrison, Global Wildlife Enforcement Adviser, email: Tel: +251 912 503 310+251 912 503 310.  

For Media Inquiries: Sangita Khadka, Communications Specialist, UNDP Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, email: Tel: ‪+1 212 906 5043+1 212 906 5043‬‬‬‬‬‬

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