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First Wildlife Enforcement Network took place from 20 to 22 July in Nassau the Bahamas

Wildlife crime is a transnational organized crime that affects all countries and regions. The international community has often recognized the serious scale and scope of wildlife crime and the need for international cooperation, including in targets 15.7 and 15.c of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which specifically urges countries to end wildlife poaching and trafficking.

The Caribbean, with its exceptional biodiversity, is under constant threat from organized wildlife criminals. Terrestrial and marine species, including turtles and other reptiles, queen conch, sharks, birds and forest products, are being harvested, poached and trafficked. Addressing transnational organized wildlife crime in the region requires a coordinated and strengthened regional and global response. Wildlife enforcement networks, networks that coordinate and pool expertise to combat wildlife crime and facilitate regional cooperation, have proven to be effective tools in combating wildlife and forest crime. However, no such network currently exists in the Caribbean region.

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), on behalf of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime and in collaboration with the Government of the Bahamas, is thus organizing the "Caribbean Regional Wildlife Enforcement Workshop" from 20 to 22 July 2016 in Nassau. The workshop brings together experts and government officials from the region to discuss and identify key threats and recommendations in relation to wildlife crime with a view to strengthening and enhancing regional cooperation and enforcement.

 At the workshop's opening, Mr. Jorge Rios, Chief, UNODC Global Programme for Combatting Wildlife and Forest Crime and Chief of the Sustainable Livelihoods Unit, emphasized:  "Regional effort is required, because the criminal networks that organize, finance, transport and sell wildlife do not respect any national boundaries. Interventions cannot be isolated - what is needed is a comprehensive approach from all relevant actors."

 Earlier this year, UNODC published the inaugural World Wildlife Crime Report, the first global wildlife crime assessment and launched an awareness raising campaign on transnational organized fisheries crime. UNODC provides comprehensive capacity building support to countries affected by wildlife crime through the Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime.

Outcome Statement