The UK Government Has New Plans To Tackle The Illegal Wildlife Trade By Increasing The Global Wildlife Programme To $187 Mill Over The Next Four Years

The UK Government recently announced a new plan to fight against the illegal wildlife trade worldwide.

“The UK will be at the vanguard of global efforts to defeat the illegal wildlife trade in 2018 and we will bring world leaders together for talks in October to find a solution.” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said in a statement. “We cannot simply sit back and watch as more endangered species are wiped out by criminal kingpins and corrupt middlemen who are robbing local communities in Africa and Asia of sustainable livelihoods.”

Run by dangerous international networks, wildlife and animal parts are trafficked much like illegal drugs and arms, making wildlife crime a big business. By its very nature, it is almost impossible to obtain credible figures for the value of the illegal wildlife trade. Experts at TRAFFIC, The Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network, estimate that it runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.

“£4.5 million for 14 new Challenge Fund projects to combat the illegal wildlife trade by addressing demand reduction, strengthening enforcement and criminal justice, and providing alternative livelihoods,” the Secretaries of State for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Defra, and DFID announced.

The UK has committed £250m to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) over the next four years, (2018-2022) with DFID contributing £150m and DEFRA £100m. This will help protect around 600 million hectares of land and marine habitats – an area equivalent to 24 times the size of the UK.

The UK, with other donors, successfully lobbied to increase the size of Global Wildlife Programme (GWP), which is part of the GEF, from $131m to $187m over the next four years. With this almost 30% increase, more funding will be allocated to efforts to support wildlife than ever before.

The Global Wildlife Programme is the largest single programme dedicated to combat poaching, trafficking, and demand for wildlife and wildlife products. Since 2016, the GWP has funded projects in 19 countries across Africa and Asia, it will:

1. Promote investments in cross-border conservation areas

2. Strengthen governance and reduce corruption

3. Support cross-border law enforcement

4. Work to reduce demand for wildlife products

5. Promote the development of nature-based tourism development in Sub-Saharan Africa

6. Coordinate international donors, including working with the private sector

Illegal wildlife trafficking is the fourth most lucrative global crime after drugs, humans and arms. It is important that drastic measures are taken to keep certain species from going extinct and to help stop corruption in poor nations.

WAN is thrilled that more countries are taking big steps to protect wildlife worldwide. #EndWildlifeTrafficking #EndWildlifeCrime

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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