This year saw the fourth in a series of conferences, that started in 2014, aimed at tackling the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) by bringing together global leaders and experts to build on and strengthen wider global efforts to tackle IWT.
As a learned society, ZSL is committed to endorse the fight against the illegal wildlife trade throughout its programmes, relations and expertise, in the ongoing effort to stop decline in biodiversity and safeguard endangered species.
During the conference ZSL made the following pledges:
- Ensure that all its IWT Programmes use an evidence-based approach to deliver measurable impact.
- Empower local communities affected by IWT in our focal landscapes by supporting sustainable livelihoods and helping them play a role in efforts to combat IWT.
- Work with the technology sector to accelerate the development of appropriate tools for field deployment that assist enforcement agents in monitoring and surveillance activities along the IWT Chain. We will help foster a cross sectoral coalition to lead the way in sharing data and knowledge; defining common standards and supporting a community of practice that empowers others to harness the poster of technology to combat IWT.
- Work with government partners to build capacity and implement SMART in the protected areas it supports, both marine and terrestrial to improve the effectiveness of monitoring and enforcement activities and better protect wildlife at source.
- Continue to support law enforcement agencies in its focal landscapes to better target the criminal networks engaged in wildlife crime.
- Develop and expand cooperation with the private sector and to improve cross sectoral engagement between private enterprise, government, NGOs, and multilateral agencies. We will work with these stakeholders to develop and implement new models to promote coexistence between people and wildlife and to combat IWT.
- Improve the scientific understanding of drivers of demand and to ensure that all its demand reduction programmes are evidence based.
In line with the key areas and objectives of the 2018 Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference, ZSL recognises that we will only be able to stop IWT if we build effective coalitions and are able to enforce measures to close down the demand. We are aware, committed and eager to collaborate with other organisations.