Wildlife: Smuggling

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 16th October 2014.

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Photo of John Spellar John Spellar Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment his Department has made of the extent of the role of terrorist organisations in the illegal ivory and wildlife smuggling trade.

Photo of James Duddridge James Duddridge The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government recognises that the multi-billion pound illegal wildlife trade not only has a devastating effect on affected species.

The Government hosted a major conference of global leaders in London in February 2014 to help eradicate the illegal wildlife trade and better protect affected species from the threat of extinction. 25 practical commitments to action were agreed in a Declaration by the participating states. One of those commitments was to undertake further assessment of the markets and dynamics of the illegal wildlife trade and progress made to combat it, including exploring links to terrorism.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office commissioned a review of the Global Impacts of the Illegal Wildlife Trade: The Costs of Crime, Insecurity and Institutional Erosion, which was published in February this year. This Review found that armed non-state actors are involved with poaching. Progress on all commitments in the London Declaration will be assessed at a follow-up Conference in Kasane, Botswana, in March 2015.

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