United for Wildlife partners welcome China’s bold steps in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade

China fighting the illegal wildlife trade

Following the destruction of 662 kgs of confiscated ivory in Beijing on 29th May 2015, Zhao Shucong, Head of China’s State Forestry Administration, set out 10 tough measures to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and suggested that there would be strict control of ivory processing and trade until the commercial processing and sale of ivory and its products are eventually halted.

The partners in United for Wildlife – Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK, the Zoological Society of London and The Royal Foundation – welcome the announcement of substantial and important measures to combat the illegal wildlife trade.

In response to the speech, William Hague, Chairman of United for Wildlife’s International Taskforce on the Transport of Illegal Wildlife Products said:

“The speech made by Zhao Shucong, Head of China’s State Forestry Administration, is an extremely important step forward in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. The Chinese Government’s announcement on wide ranging measures to combat wildlife crime, in range states and consumer countries, should give us all great hope. The United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transport of Illegal Wildlife Products, which I chair, will do all it can to support measures to clamp down on the trafficking of illegal wildlife products.”

United for Wildlife partners are working together to combat the illegal wildlife trade. Our joint activities will support the measures announced in Beijing by:

  • Ensuring that United for Wildlife’s International Taskforce on the Transport of Illegal Wildlife Products, chaired by Mr William Hague, supports effective measures to prohibit the transport and delivery of illegal wildlife and its products by enterprises engaged in the transport industry.
  • Continuing to work with its technology partners to combat the online illegal wildlife trade.
  • Continuing to provide substantial legal advice and support to improve the rule of law and law enforcement in the range countries of the African Elephant, transit countries and consumer countries through its partnership with international law firm DLA Piper.
  • Increasing efforts to raise awareness and understanding amongst young people of the threats of the illegal wildlife trade to species both in China and in other countries around the world.
  • Continuing to increase support to range countries of Elephants, Rhinoceros, Big Cats and Pangolins by improving the efficacy of protected areas and applying new technologies to combatting poaching.

As HRH The Duke of Cambridge, President of United for Wildlife, said during his recent visit to China:

“The illegal wildlife trade is our common enemy. It is a vicious form of criminality: plundering the natural resources of poorer countries, taking lives, hindering development and spreading corruption. Traffickers think nothing of violating laws and sovereignty anywhere they can to exploit a loophole or turn a profit. And international cooperation is our strongest defence against them. With that in mind, we must join forces”.

The United for Wildlife International Taskforce on the Transport of Illegal Wildlife Products

The Taskforce first met in March 2015 and is chaired by Mr William Hague, former Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The Taskforce has brought together senior representatives of the transport industry to make practical recommendation for the reduction of trafficking of illegal wildlife products.

The members of the Taskforce are:

  • Dame DeAnne Julius (Vice-Chairman)
  • Sir Tim Clark (President and CEO of Emirates)
  • John Scanlon (Secretary General of CITES)
  • Tony Tyler (President of IATA)
  • Linos Choo (Partner, DLA Piper)
  • Mr Mohammed Sharaf (CEO Dubai Ports World)
  • Signe Bruun Jensen (Global Head of Sustainability, Maersk)
  • Koji Sekimizu, (Secretary General, International Maritime Organization)
  • Kunio Mikuriya (Secretary General of the World Customs Organization)
  • Mburi Ngunze (Group Managing Director and CEO Kenya Airways)
  • Susan Lieberman (Vice President International Policy Wildlife Conservation Society)
  • Glyn Davies (Executive Director, Global Programmes WWF)
  • Sir Julian King (Director General Economic & Consular, Foreign & Commonwealth Office)
  • Adriana Dinu (Executive Coordinator, UNDP-GEF)