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‘Wildlife crime makes us all poorer’, says Theresa May | Environment



Massive wildlife trafficking impoverishes everyone in the world and must be treated with the same severity of drugs and trafficking in people, according to the leaders of 80 nations gathered at the Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in London on Thursday 1965-9002. Illegal crime wildlife makes us all poorer, not just those countries robbed of their wild nature, natural habitat and resources, but all of us who have been robbed of our natural heritage, the rich diversity of our living world, "said Theresa May, British Prime Minister on Thursday "We need to treat this billions of dollars criminal enterprise the same way we do other serious and organized crimes."

Other challenges raised by leaders included the tension between rapidly growing human populations and wildlife , the need to increase and enforce penalties for the crime of wildlife and the danger to the stability of the animals international criminal gangs operate

Ali Bongo Ondimba, president of Gabon, said: "The illegal international trade in wild animals is not just a wildlife problem, it is a problem that paralyzes economies, poisons and degrades ecosystems, corrupts our judges, weakens our rule of law and even ruins lives.

"Criminals slaughtering our magnificent elephants, lions and tigers, who empty our oceans and forests sometimes use their illicit gains to finance rebels and terrorist groups.This is a critical issue for Africa and a problem that we, the international community, so far have not taken seriously enough, we can not do it alone, so please stay with us. "

A series of initiatives were announced at the conference, including a task force on wildlife involving over 20 global banks that will target money laundering to trap wildlife criminals and the Ivory Alliance 2024, which aims to have another 30 countries committed to banning ivory sales by that date. The United Kingdom Government is also extending the training provided by its army to the rangers of the African nations.

Yoweri Museveni, president of Uganda, said his nation's population will increase from 40 to 102 million by 2050 and will increasingly conflict with wildlife if the citizens of the country remain predominantly farmers. "To support conservation you must also talk about modernization [of the economy]," he said, "In that case it will be easier to manage conservation."

He also warned of the threat to nation states: "Illegal trade in wildlife continues to erode the state authority and nurtures civil conflicts and, in the process, threatens national stability."

Jeremy Hunt, The UK's foreign secretary said at the conference: "Our task is to face one of the biggest challenges humanity faces." He noted that the global population has multiplied five times in the year. 39, last century: "As we have succeeded, other species have gone dramatically in decline". He said that 60% of vertebrate animals have died in the last 50 years and that humans now outweigh wild animals by far.

"The interests of humanity can not be separated from the interests of wildlife – one depends on the other," he said. "If we do not act, we will simply never be forgiven."

The Duke of Cambridge, who convened the Wildlife Task Force, also spoke about the conference, saying: "My request to protect this delicate balance between the growth of human populations and the decline of endangered wildlife does not It is purely emotional. Poaching is an economic crime against ordinary people and its future.

"It is heartbreaking to think that when my children, George, Charlotte and Louis, are twenty years old, elephants, rhinos and tigers could be extinct in the wild. I for one am not prepared to look at my children in the eyes and say that we were the generation that allowed this to happen on our watch. "

The trafficking of wild animals, including ivory, rhinoceros horns, pangolins and turtles, is estimated at $ 23 billion a year, becoming the fourth most profitable criminal enterprise after drug trafficking, Weapons and People Weak penalties and poor legal application have made a lucrative and low-risk activity for criminal unions.

But the sentences are now increasing, Bongo said that the length of detention for smuggling of ivory is was increased from six months to ten years, and twice if it was linked to organized crime In Vietnam, where most of the contraband rhino horn ends, sentences were raised to 15 years, while in Kenya anyone was caught smuggling the body parts of an endangered species now face life in prison.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessioni told delegates that the president of his country, Do nald Trump, advocated tough action against wildlife criminals: "We can not allow the illegal extermination of entire populations of species. On the contrary, we must use our resources provided by God and our legal institutions to advance and defend the survival – and not the annihilation – of God's majestic creatures. "He said the United States is pledging another $ 90. millions in the fight against wildlife trafficking [19659002] When action is taken, Hunt said progress can be made: "When laws are enforced and smugglers are prosecuted, wild animal populations can recover and to heal. The number of wild tigers in Nepal, for example, has doubled in the past nine years. "


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