Crimes against wildlife threaten our sustainable future: UN chief
Dr. Lalit Kishore | 03 Mar 2015

On the occasion World Wildlife Day, urging the world community to treat crimes against wildlife as a threat to our sustainable future, UN chief Ban Ki-moon in his mesage on the UN website stated, "Illegal trade in wildlife has become a sophisticated transnational form of crime, comparable to other pernicious examples, such as trafficking of drugs, humans, counterfeit items and oil. It is driven by rising demand, and is often facilitated by corruption and weak governance. There is strong evidence of the increased involvement of organized crime networks and non-State armed groups."

"Getting serious about wildlife crime means enrolling the support of all sections of society involved in the production and consumption of wildlife products, which are widely used as medicines, food, building materials, furniture, cosmetics, clothing and accessories.  Law enforcement efforts must be supported by the wider community.  Businesses and the general public in all countries can play a major role by, for example, refusing to buy or auction illegal ivory and rhinoceros horn, and insisting that products from the world's oceans and tropical forests have been legally obtained and sustainably sourced," added Ban.

Ban called upon people to get serious about wildlife crime and combat it for conservation of nature and sustainable development as well as achieving peace and security in troubled regions where conflicts are fuelled by these illegal activities."Illegal wildlife trade undermines the rule of law and threatens national security; it degrades ecosystems and is a major obstacle to the efforts of rural communities and indigenous peoples striving to sustainably manage their natural resources," warned Ban. 

It was 2013, the United Nations General Assembly decided to proclaim 3 March as World Wildlife Day (WWD) to celebrate and raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora. According to the UN, the observance is meant to reaffirm the intrinsic value of wildlife and its various contributions, including ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic, to sustainable development and human well-being.

The main objective of the WWD is to raise awareness of the world's wild fauna and flora and ensure that international trade does not threaten the survival of species.  The 2015 theme is "Wildlife Crime is serious, let's get serious about wildlife crime", informs the UN.