Wildlife crime has a devastating impact on biodiversity, threatening to eradicate several species. One of the core missions of FOUR PAWS is to put an end to wildlife crime, particularly the commercial trade and abuse of endangered species whether from the wild or captive-bred. To this end, we are continuously advocating for stronger rules and regulation on wildlife crime at European and international level.
Initiative to End Wildlife Crime
FOUR PAWS is a Champion organisation to the Initiative to End Wildlife Crime, an alliance of individuals and organisations that support the need for wildlife law reforms. It is hosted by the ADM Capital Foundation and chaired by John Scanlon AO, former Secretary General of CITES.
The Initiative was created on the idea that the status quo is no longer an option when it comes to protecting the world’s wildlife. Current international law is limited and ill-equipped to address the massive scale and scope of wildlife crime including, climate change and zoonotic disease risks.
In response to the need for change, the Initiative proposes States fill gaps in international law, in part, by adding a Wildlife Protocol to the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime ‘UNTOC’. If adopted, this would be the fourth protocol to UNTOC, the others focusing on human trafficking, migrant smuggling, and illicit manufacturing and trafficking in firearms.
UNTOC is the main legal instrument used to fight transnational organized crime making it one appropriate venue to address wildlife crime. Currently, wildlife trafficking is one of the most serious forms of criminal activity and globally is only third in scale behind narcotics and the illegal arms trade (both covered by UNTOC). While the true scale is unknown, some estimate the crime being worth 8 to 20 billion annually. Further, solutions that have the possibility of being implemented faster are more desirable as we need imminent action. Species populations are in a rapid decline, since the 1970’s humanity has wiped out 60% of animal populations. A UN report estimates over 1 million species are threatened with extinction.
The European Policy Office of FOUR PAWS is supporting the Initiative with its Statement of Purpose and Advance the objectives of the Initiative with regards to European Union support.