Sophia Banos – Lindner Staff Reporter, The Pawprint
Every year, wild fauna and flora are illegally hunted, poached, and transported across the world. This illegal cross-border activity involves a complex web of all sorts of criminal activities. The wild-life poaching industry is estimated to be valued at around $50 – 150 billion per year, placing it amongst the five most lucrative global crimes. In addition to its detrimental impact on biodiversity and local communities, Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) fuels other criminal activities, including money laundering and the international drug trade, which also threatens the balance of the ecosystem.
The illegal wildlife trade is driven by two primary factors. One is for people who have collected animal trophies. They are willing to pay millions of dollars to obtain exotic animal trophies. The second main purpose is because some cultures continue relying on outdated traditions and beliefs that associate these animal trophies with medicinal and/or spiritual benefits.
An important step in combating illegal wildlife trade is the involvement of multitudes of companies and governmental agencies from around the world. When governments and companies commit to supporting this cause
- Raising awareness of the illegal wildlife trade as a global crime just like money laundering and drug trafficking.
- Mobilizing public and private resources to combat IWT in all its forms along the entire supply chain.
- Sharing enforcement strategies and details of trafficking cases with United for Wildlife to build intelligence and gain on the increasingly sophisticated global trafficking
Other ways people can support this cause is by becoming a member of United for Wildlife. Every membership helps protect and preserve wildlife. It is essential that we speak up for them because nobody else would. Other ways to support the cause include, but are not limited to:
Keeping the animals’ environment clean and sticking to certified products that care about animals’ welfare. Think about eating sustainable seafood and reducing single-use plastic as much as possible.
If people work together and fight against the illegal wildlife trade, there may be a chance to save the animal world.