In October, the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime (EWC) proposed a groundbreaking legal agreement on tackling wildlife crime that could help avoid future wildlife-related pandemics. The agreement is a Protocol under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), the main international legal instrument in the fight against transnational crime.
The proposed “Protocol against the Illicit Trafficking in Specimens of Wild Fauna and Flora,” would criminalize the intentional illicit trafficking of specimens of wild fauna and flora. The negotiation and adoption of any new Protocol is a matter for States (countries), and whether these proposed reforms move ahead will be determined by the States Parties to UNTOC.
“The current international legal framework for addressing wildlife crime is inadequate and it leaves us vulnerable to future wildlife-related pandemics,” said John E. Scanlon AO, chair of The Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime (EWC). “We need transformative changes to ensure our international legal framework for addressing wildlife crime is fit for purpose in a post COVID-19 world and today we are releasing details on how we can scale up our collective efforts to end wildlife crime.”
Species360 is an International Champion of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, along with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), African Wildlife Foundation, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, the Jane Goodall Institute and others. International Champions to End Wildlife Crime support the EWC Statement of Purpose, and help to advance the objectives of the Initiative among their peers, members, and communities.
The EWC has partnered with 16 influential organizations who endorse the initiative and are industry associations, corporations, foundations as well as international and non-governmental organizations with vast networks and deep commitments to combat wildlife crime. The Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime selects champions based on their depth of knowledge and expertise within their industry of work.
Species360 is among those invited to be an International Champion of the EWC initiative. Other champions include the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), African Wildlife Foundation, IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law, the Jane Goodall Institute and others. International Champions support the EWC Statement of Purpose, and help to advance the objectives of the Initiative among their peers, members, and communities.
“We are delighted to welcome Species360 as an International Champion of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime. Species360 is a forward-looking, creative and innovative organization that can see the need for these critically important reforms to our international wildlife crime and wildlife trade laws to make them fit for purpose in a post-COVID-19 world, and we are most grateful to Species360 for to helping to promote them to a wider audience,” said Scanlon.
If a Protocol is adopted, this would be the fourth Protocol to UNTOC, the others being on human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and illicit manufacture and trafficking in firearms. The Protocol would signify recognition by States Parties of the devastating scale, nature and consequences of wildlife crimes, of the need to scale up collaborative efforts to prevent and criminalize them, and provide States with the means to do so.
The Global Initiative has also proposed amendments to CITES that would see the Convention include public and animal health criteria into its decision making, thereby taking a One Health approach to wildlife trade. The proposed amendments, and the process for making them, are also available on the website here (in Chinese, English, French, Spanish and Vietnamese).
For more information, and to support the initiative, go to: https://endwildlifecrime.org/