Rabat - The U.N. General Assembly adopted its first-ever resolution aimed at combating illicit wildlife trafficking on Thursday, its sponsors in outrage regarding the recent killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
Rabat – The U.N. General Assembly adopted its first-ever resolution aimed at combating illicit wildlife trafficking on Thursday, its sponsors in outrage regarding the recent killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
The resolution, unanimously approved by the General Assembly, is not legally binding. However, it reflects the growing support across the globe for wildlife in danger of poaching and trafficking.
Sponsored by Gabon and Germany and co-sponsored by over 70 countries, the resolution calls on all nations “to take decisive steps at the national level to prevent, combat and eradicate the illegal trade in wildlife, on both the supply and demand sides.”
The assembly stated that this should include strengthening legislation to prevent, investigate, and prosecute illegal wildlife trading, and encouraged all countries to make the trafficking involving organized criminal groups “a serious crime.”
Germany’s U.N. Ambassador Harald Braun told reporters that the illegal trafficking of wildlife has increasingly become a huge global business and the money made from it is now a leading source of financing terrorism.
“A pound of rhino horn today yields more than a pound of gold” on the black market, and the tusks of a hundred thousand elephants that were poached last year … (represent) an enormous economic value,” Braun said.
Leigh Henry, a senior policy adviser at the World Wildlife Fund said the resolution “sends a powerful message from the highest possible level … that wildlife crime, and the global criminal syndicates profiting from it, will not be tolerated.”