UNODC welcomes first United Nations General Assembly resolution on wildlife crime

Photo: UNODC31 July 2015 - The unanimous decision at the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly to adopt a resolution on 'Tackling Illicit Trafficking in Wildlife' has been strongly welcomed by UNODC. Calling on countries to increase efforts to counter and prevent illicit wildlife trafficking and poaching, the resolution is an important step towards tackling the organized criminal networks who profit from the illegal killing of some of the world's most iconic species.

Through the resolution, the General Assembly expressed its concern over the expansion of these wildlife crime networks and noted the effects of wildlife trafficking on species and ecosystems, as well as taking into consideration the impact it has on the livelihoods of local communities.

To tackle these issues, the resolution encourages countries to "adopt effective measures to prevent and counter the serious problem of crimes that have an impact on the environment, such as illicit trafficking in wildlife and wildlife products…as well as poaching". Critically, it urges Member States to make illicit trafficking in protected species of wild fauna and flora involving organized criminal groups a "serious crime."

The resolution is particularly welcomed in light of UNODC's work on Wildlife and Forest Crime. In mid-2014, the Office launched a 'Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime' - a comprehensive, four-year initiative to build Government capacity in preventing and combating these crimes at regional, national and local levels, and to raise awareness to reduce demand for wild fauna and flora. The Global Programme is working for, and with, the wildlife law enforcement community to ensure that wildlife crime, illegal logging, and related crimes are treated as serious transnational organized crimes.

Further information:

UNODC's work on wildlife and forest crime