Declaration shows strong commitment to combat illegal wildlife trade

Posted: Feb 142014

The Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference hosted by the British Government yesterday in London shows that world leaders are at last taking the illegal wildlife trade seriously.

Tusk Trust, which has been working closely with the UK Government to help bring about this initiative welcomes the outcomes of yesterday's unprecedented gathering by 46 countries on Illegal Wildlife Trade.

The conference which was hosted by UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague was also attended by The Prince of Wales, Tusk’s Royal Patron, The Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry. Tusk applauds the Government and the Princes for taking the lead on this gobal issue. The Declaration agreed yesterday was the result of patient ground work undertaken by DEFRA and the Foreign Office.

Tusk CEO, Charlie Mayhew said, “Tusk is delighted to see the Declaration commits participating countries to a number of deliverables which, if achieved, should significantly curtail the illegal trade in wildlife - now thought to be worth close to $20billion a year.

“Today the talking has to stop and the action has to start. We now have the political will and momentum to enforce the aims of the London Declaration and we must not give up this chance to halt this appalling trade that is decimating wildlife populations across Africa and the rest of the world.”

As part of the Conference, the Elephant Protection Initiative was formally endorsed by Botswana, Chad, Ethiopia, Gabon and Tanzania. This provides a strong commitment to honour a 10-year moratorium on sales of ivory and seeks to put ivory stockpiles beyond use. This particular initiative promoted by the Stop Ivory group, of which Tusk is a partner, has announced significant funding today along with a commitment from the British Government to support the plan.   

Tusk Trust was delighted last year to coordinate visits to Kenya by both Owen Paterson, the Secretary of State, and former DEFRA Minister, Richard Benyon, to enable them to see firsthand the impact of poaching and the challenges faced by wildlife rangers and communities in Africa as a result of the illegal wildlife trade.

To read the declaration from the London Conference please click here.

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