Governments at the Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade committed to specific actions that support wiping out poaching and wildlife trafficking, recognising this as crucial to achieving sustainable, inclusive development by 2030.
They also recognized the actions taken by governments and other relevant organizations to meet their commitments under the many conventions that directly tackle eliminating illegal trade in wildlife.
“We urgently need more action and more accountability to conserve wildlife and natural resources, just as we need more acknowledgement of their role across the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Naysán Sahba, Director of Communications, UN Environment.
The Hanoi statement adopted by the countries at the conference listed intended actions— by countries, regional blocs and intergovernmental organizations—
dealing with the elimination of both demand and supply.
UN Environment-led Wild For Life campaign— implemented with UNDP, UNDOC, CITES and other partners— drew special mention in the statement for its role in raising broad awareness of the implications of the illegal trade in wildlife and demonstrating how individuals, civil society, business and governments could use their spheres of influence to help change behaviour.
The initiative, also known as the One UN Global Campaign, will be scaled up in 2017 with funding from Norway, to support demand reduction through global outreach and awareness-raising, social mobilization and partnership-building activities.
Wild For Life has recently partnered with Discovery Networks to launch an originally created public service announcement (in English, in Vietnamese), narrated by Goodwill Ambassador Edward Norton, which will air on Discovery’s channels across Asia-Pacific and around the world to raise awareness to stem the illegal trade of endangered species products.
“Illegal wildlife trade is pushing many species to the brink of extinction and damaging ecosystems. Changing attitudes and mobilizing people to halt poaching is now urgent; but even more critical to ensuring a sustainable future is the need to create a new generation of more responsible consumers and caring custodians,” said Mr. Sahba.
Since its launch six months ago at the United Nations Environment Assembly, the Wild For Life message has reached over 1 billion people, from heads to state and global celebrities to school children and private businesses. Over 10,000 people have pledged to use their personal sphere of influence to help end illegal trafficking.
In UN Environment’s mandate is the protection of the world’s natural resources.
Part of this involves working with countries to support them in implementing targeted national efforts, for example, by helping them review and strengthen national legal frameworks to fight wildlife crime and enhance enforcement capacity.
The Hanoi Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade is the third held since 2014. More than 40 countries were represented at the meeting, as well as NGOs and conservation groups.