International Fight against Poaching

For all the environmental law enthusiasts out there, and even international law fans, the UN has given you all something interesting to follow for the next few years. The UN has aimed its focus on addressing a problem of emerging importance. Illicit trafficking of fauna and flora has risen over the last few years and has turned into a “particularly devastating” form of organized crime – from poaching to timber smuggling. In response to this emerging global problem, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has adopted a new global platform taking aim at this form of international/environmental organized crime. The “Global Programme for Combatting Widllife and Forest Crime” will be implemented over the next four years. [sic]. The beauty of this new UN program is that it will raise awareness of this emerging environmental problem and it is an important step to help governments at all levels (national, regional, etc.) to develop strategies to combat this problem in their own nations.

“The emergence of this Global Programme shows just how much this critical issue has come to the fore in recent years,” said UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov, who emphasized that the initiative highlights a serious and growing problem and one which UNODC is in a unique position to help fight.

This program was adopted just after the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice demanded that more work needs to be done to address environmental crimes such as illicit trafficking in forest products.

The Global Programme will support a number of areas such as building legislation to address this crime, strengthening investigative, prosecutorial and judicial capacities, and combating related issues of money-laundering and corruption. It will also support Member States in their efforts to introduce livelihoods to affected communities.

UNODC says that this is a serious environmental problem because for example, the number of tigers in the world has dropped from about 100,000 a century ago to approximately 3,000 today, and they continue to fall. Also, in South Africa, home to 90% of Africa’s rhino population, 1,004 rhinos were killed in 2013. Meanwhile across Africa it is estimated that over 20,000 elephants are poached annually for their ivory.

Does anyone believe that this program will be successful in addressing this environmental problem?

Is this a problem that needs the UN’s focus at the moment?

Picture: Environment

Source: United Nations

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