Strengthening the global fight against wildlife crime through an approach

LONDON (UK) – With environmental crime at the heart of the world’s third largest traffic, INTERPOL has taken calls from the United for Wildlife (UfW) global summit to strengthen the collective fight against the criminal organizations responsible for attacks on wildlife and wildlife. their impact on populations and biodiversity.

Poaching and human trafficking undermine the rule of law and undermine economic development. Transnational organized crime groups that drive the killing and eradication of species such as rhinos, elephants and big cats, endangering marine life, also threaten the security and livelihoods of local populations around the world.

Criminal organizations that transport ivory and other illegal goods to Asia, the United States and Europe are also often involved in arms and drug trafficking, fueling corruption and the use of intimidation, even murder, throughout the supply chain.

It is against this background that the UfW Summit (October 3-4) brought together nearly 300 global leaders from law enforcement, conservation organizations and the private sector, who undertook ground-breaking work aimed at changing policies, supporting criminal investigations and defining a coordinated and sustainable approach to combating wildlife crime.

Speaking at the summit, the Prince of Wales emphasized that wildlife crime is a serious and organized crime: “The illegal wildlife trade is a form of crime that deprives us all of our most precious natural resources which finance organized crime, and whose harmful effects are often felt directly by the most vulnerable groups. Too many criminals still believe they can act with impunity, too many lives are being destroyed, and too many species are on the brink of extinction because of this heinous form of crime.

“But there is reason to be optimistic. United for Wildlife aims to counter the perpetrators of wildlife crime with an international response that is as powerful and coordinated as any other form of serious organized crime. It’s about exposing their harmful practices and ensuring communities have the tools, means and support to protect themselves and their natural environment,” added Prince William.

Wildlife trafficking is often seen as a low-risk, high-profit business for perpetrators that incurs limited penalties. In this regard, INTERPOL highlighted at the summit the role of global cross-sector partnerships in combating the illegal wildlife trade, which alone accounts for approximately $20 billion a year.

“Often overlooked and under-prosecuted, it is a complex form of serious crime that has devastating and far-reaching consequences not only for wildlife, but for people and the health of the planet,” said INTERPOL’s Executive Director of Policing, Stephen Kavanagh.

“INTERPOL recognizes that wildlife crime is an international security priority and we are committed to working with all sectors to pursue perpetrators, put an end to their activities and minimize harm to life and biodiversity around the world,” added Mr. Kavanagh.

On the convergence of wildlife trafficking, other forms of serious crime and terrorism, Mr Kavanagh also elaborated on how wildlife crime generates revenue for non-state armed groups and organisations, terrorists in Central and East Africa, citing in particular the existence of ​​evidence of al-Shabaab involvement in the ivory trade.

Due to its links to violent crime, corruption and other forms of human trafficking, environmental crime is a transnational criminal activity that generates more than $280 billion a year, making it the third most lucrative form of crime in the world after drug trafficking and counterfeiting.

Through its Environmental Security Program (ENS) and through its Center for Financial Crime and Corruption (IFCACC), INTERPOL works with partners around the world to target the huge profits made through this type of offense and contribute to the settlement of those responsible criminal networks for them.

Leave a Comment