Illegal Wildlife Trade
The illegal wildlife trade is worth an estimated minimum of £6 billion annually. It’s profits are thought to fuel arms, drugs and human trafficking criminal activity.
The UK is calling together global Heads of State for a major conference to collaboratively eradicate illegal wildlife trade and better protect the world’s most iconic species from the threat of extinction. The conference will be held in London on 13 February 2014 at Lancaster House led by HRH’s Prince Charles and William.
The UK will, “urge Governments to tackle this illegal trade from the perspectives of criminal justice, international and regional security, social and economic development, as well as environment and natural resources.”
The UK Government have published this official document, outlining their declaration to combat the illegal wildlife trade; UK Commitment to IWT.
Who are these Heads of State and what are they aiming to achieve? It’s unclear who will be attending – but we hope that there will be a good representation from Asian countries where a growing wealth of middle class in Asian emerging economies-plus desire for historical/cultural status symbols is driving ivory demand (Soundbite from #IWTconf).
The Heads of State in attendence are expected to create a united declaration of commitment to be signed following the conference that sets out a firm plan on how best to combat illegal poaching and consumer demand for endangered wild animals and their body parts.
Who is coming?
Confirmed in the press the following will be attending the Lancaster House event.
USA: (No confirmed names but this information on the White House website). “At this week’s London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade, we hope other countries will join us in taking ambitious action to combat wildlife trafficking. In coming months, we will continue to take further steps to implement the Strategy. The White House joins the State Department, Department of Justice, and Department of the Interior as co-chairs of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, as well as over a dozen federal agencies, to demonstrate our commitment to implement the Strategy.” The strategy specific to the USA was published 12 Feb.
Kenya: President Uhuru Kenyatta accompanied by a high-powered delegation, including the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu.
United Kingdom; Prince of Wales & Duke of Cambridge, Prime Minister David Cameron, Foreign Secretary William Hague but not Owen Paterson as he is still recovering from surgery.
Laos: Vice Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Dr. Phouangparisck Pravongviengkham will lead a small Lao delegation to the conference.
Uganda: British High Commissioner HE Alison Blackburne, Executive Director of the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) Dr Andrew Seguya
Thailand: The government has decided not to attend the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade as it is battling political problems at home. Theerapat Prayulrasidhi, deputy chief of the National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department, said no senior officials from the government will attend this week’s conference.
Reported but not confirmed
The following countries have been invited and may well be planning to attend – though we have been unable to find any official articles confirming who will be attending.
France – French Declaration http://
This list covers no where near the 50 Heads of States said to be in attendance. We look forward to seeing which countries have attended and what, if any declaration was signed as a result.
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