• Illegal wildlife trade nearly as large as drug, weapon and human trafficking
  • Nations must come together to fight increasingly sophisticated criminal networks 

‘We must address this global crime from all angles.’

NEW YORK (March 3, 2015) – The following statement is from Cristián Samper, WCS President and CEO and member of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Wildlife Trafficking:

“As nations and global citizens celebrate the second World Wildlife Day on Tuesday, March 3rd, the United Nations has announced that organized crime threatening wildlife species is on the rise.

“It is clear that to end this crisis, we must address this global crime from all angles.  We must stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand. We must activate intelligence-based law enforcement and prosecution authorities, and enhance efforts to stop money laundering and corruption across the trade chain.

“Whether it is organized crime syndicates wiping out entire populations of African elephants for their ivory, or the illegal medicine and meat trades driving lesser known wildlife such as pangolins to near extinction, the scope of illegal wildlife trade is enormous and daunting.

“This will test the resolve of world leaders as they fight increasingly sophisticated criminals that are often better funded and better armed than on-the-ground enforcement.

“We welcome the Obama Administration’s commitment to confront global wildlife trafficking networks. But no one nation, organization, or conservation group can fight this battle alone. 

“We must fight wildlife trafficking together. And if we do so, we will prevail. We are already seeing this happen as the UN and nations around the world are bringing together transnational crime fighting networks targeting wildlife crime. 

“I remain hopeful today on World Wildlife Day. I believe that through partnerships we are increasing the scale of our efforts to take on this massive task of saving our planet’s greatest treasures of nature, including working to end the threat of wildlife trafficking, once and for all.”