Executive Director, UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Ghada Waly:

Statement on World Wildlife Day - 'Sustaining All Life on Earth'

                                                 3 March 2020

One million animal and plant species are at risk of going extinct if we don't stop destroying the ecosystems on which we depend.

Preventing and tackling wildlife and forest crime is essential for "Sustaining all life on Earth," this year's World Wildlife Day theme. On land and under water, nature is under threat because of poaching and over-exploitation. Organized crime and corruption are among the many drivers of biodiversity loss. Addressing them requires targeted action and international cooperation.

Through its Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works with 31 countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, where biodiversity is under severe threat, to help curb trafficking, illegal exploitation of natural resources and corruption. We support governments' efforts to manage these resources sustainably, to the continued benefit of local communities.

At the start of this Decade of Action to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, we need to join forces. UNODC is committed to investing its expertise and building alliances to put an end to the illegal exploitation of the natural resources that sustain our planet.