This year’s observance of World Environment Day shines a much-needed spotlight on the illegal trade in wildlife. There is grave cause for alarm. Elephants are being slaughtered for their ivory, rhinos for their horns, and pangolins for their scales. From sea turtles to tigers to rosewood, thousands of species of wild animals and plants are being driven ever closer to extinction. The businesses and individuals involved are motivated solely by short-term gain at the expense of long-term benefit to communities and habitats. In many instances, they act in collusion with transnational organized crime networks and groups actively involved in destabilizing nations.
The United Nations and its many partners have resolved to tackle this illicit trade, including by setting clear targets to put an end to poaching in the Sustainable Development Goals, adopted last year by all 193 Member States. Last month, at the second United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, we launched a UN “Wild For Life” global campaign, led by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on the International Trade in Wild Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES). The campaign asks everyone to pledge to end the illegal trade in wildlife, from ordinary citizens, who can ensure they do not buy prohibited products, to governments, who can pursue change though implementing effective policies to protect species and ecosystems.
Angola, which is this year’s World Environment Day global host, has served notice that it will no longer tolerate the sale of illegal wildlife products, and is strengthening legislation and increasing border controls as part of efforts to restore elephant populations that were devastated by the country’s civil war. Such action sends a strong message that wild species of plants and animals are a precious commodity that must be sustainably managed and protected from illegal trade.
On this World Environment Day, I urge people and governments everywhere to overcome indifference, combat greed and act to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of this and future generations.
Angolan wildlife rangers warm up before patrol
Eco-crime hits record high at up to $258 billion, outstripping the illegal trade in small arms, as international criminal gangs and militant groups profit from the plunder of Earth’s resources
Nairobi, 4 June 2016 – The value of environmental crime is 26 per cent larger than previous estimates, at $91-258 billion today compared to $70-213 billion in 2014, according to a rapid response report published today by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and INTERPOL.
The Rise of Environmental Crime, released on the eve of World Environment Day (WED), finds that weak laws and poorly funded security forces are enabling international criminal networks and armed rebels to profit from a trade that fuels conflicts, devastates ecosystems and is threatening species with extinction.
UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner said, “Interpol and UNEP have joined forces to bring to the attention of the world the sheer scale of environmental crime. The vast sums of money generated from these crimes keep sophisticated international criminal gangs in business, and fuel insecurity around the world.
“The result is not only devastating to the environment and local economies, but to all those who are menaced by these criminal enterprises. The world needs to come together now to take strong national and international action to bring environmental crime to an end.”
All attending a Think.Eat.Save event in Canberra, this week, welcomed the announcement by Australian federal environment Minister, Mr. Greg Hunt, inviting the Labor party, the Australian Greens, and any interested federal cross-benchers into a dialogue to establish a National Food Waste 2025 Strategy. Continue reading
Write a compelling blog post on this year’s theme, Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet. Consume with Care, which highlights sustainable lifestyles and consumption. Post it on your blog! The winner of the competition will travel to Italy to blog, tweet and post Facebook messages for two nights on WED 2015 Continue reading
UNIC Canberra joined the United Nations Association of Australia to recognise innovative environmental initiatives and the work of Australian environmental leaders in the 2014 World Environment Day Awards on the 13 June. Continue reading
Today is World Environment Day (WED). It is the United Nations’ principal vehicle for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the environment. Continue reading
To mark the United Nations International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has drawn attention to the vital role played by indigenous communities – who represent 5 per cent of the global population Continue reading
In celebration of World Environment Day, UNIC Canberra joined the United Nations Association of Australia at its World Environment Day Awards. The theme for 2013 World Environment Day celebrations was Think.Eat.Save – reduce your foodprint. The annual national Awards recognized innovative and outstanding environmental programs and initiatives from across Australia and the important work of Australian environmental leaders. Continue reading