The UK has announced a new strategy which will provide an additional £44.5m to combat the global illegal wildlife trade over the next six years.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) made the announcement ahead of an upcoming Illegal Wildlife Trade conference to be held in London in October.
The additional funding will support measures the government has already announced, including a comprehensive ban on the trading of ivory products, and will accompany a raft of additional legislation which supports the UK’s commitment to fight the illegal wildlife trade as part of the 2014 London Declaration.
‘We owe it to future generations to save these species’
— Foreign Office 🇬🇧 (@foreignoffice) July 2, 2018
Additionally however, the UK government has set a number of ambitious targets in order to make progress in its efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trading and conserve the animals and environments affected. This includes a new aim to reduce the illegal killing of African elephants for ivory by one third by 2020, and by a further half by 2024.
The UK will now work more closely alongside its global partners and encourage them to commit to bans on ivory trading, similar to the country’s own regulations which were adopted in April. Beyond this, Defra’s contribution of £4.5m will fund 14 new projects aimed at strengthening enforcement and criminal justice, and providing alternative livelihoods for poachers.
Delighted to announce @ZacGoldsmith as the Conference Champion for October’s London Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference 2018. No one better to energise the global community, get movers and shakers on board and help us do our bit to #endwildlifecrime.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 3, 2018
Speaking at the announcement, just 100 days ahead of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, the Foreign Secretary said that:
“We must act now, or future generations will not forgive us. We must do something to tip the balance in favour of the natural world – we must protect habitats and their economic value. We are here tonight because we all agree that we need to stop the nauseating and ignorant trade in wildlife.”