Illegal trade in wildlife is no longer an abstract issue.
Organized transnational as well as trans-regional environmental crimes are rapidly rising threats to the environment, to revenues from natural resources, to state security and to global sustainable development.
…At stake is the financial loss running into billions of dollars that these environmental crimes cause, the ecosystem disruption, loss of biodiversity and crippling ecosystem services that underpin human wellbeing to build resilience economies and adapt to climate change…
…Forests and savannahs are home to some of the world’s most majestic species but they are also home to intricate webs of illegal trade in wildlife worth $10 billion annually.
To put this loss into perspective, crime on elephants alone could financially cost Africa $1.9 billion each year. This is separate from the environmental loss in terms of numbers and the related impacts on ecosystem stability.
In Asia, the poached African ivory may represent an end-user street value of an estimated $165 million to $188 million, in addition to ivory from Asian sources…
Picture: Members of the Kruger National Park Veterinary Wildlife Services in South Africa check on a darted white rhino in October. The park darted four rhinos for relocation to a secret safe area in order to protect the animals against poaching. Credits: AFP