Rhinoceros Products and Ivory

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 20th October 2014.

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Photo of Nick Brown Nick Brown Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne East

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to ensure that the UK upholds its international obligations to prevent the illegal trade of ivory and rhino horns.

Photo of George Eustice George Eustice The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

The UK Government is taking a leading role in global efforts to end the illegal wildlife trade.

In February 2014 we hosted a high-level international conference for leaders from over 40 nations. The Conference resulted in the London Conference Declaration, containing 25 commitments to action on enforcement and criminal justice, demand reduction and sustainable livelihoods. The UK is actively supporting Botswana in hosting a further Conference to review progress in March 2015.

We are engaged with a wide range of international organisations and initiatives focused on combatting the illegal wildlife trade and supported the development of a UN resolution on illegal wildlife trade at the UN Environment Assembly earlier this year. The UK also supports organisations active in this field, such as the International Consortium for Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), a partnership of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), INTERPOL, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization.

The global effort to regulate international wildlife trade, which includes work to combat illegal wildlife trade, is undertaken within the framework of CITES, in which the UK plays a leading role. The UK is chair of the Rhino Working Group of the CITES Standing Committee and has funded an ICCWC coordinator post within the CITES Secretariat.

In December 2013, Defra and the Department for International Development announced a £10 million package to support efforts to tackle the illegal trade in wildlife products, including rhino horn and elephant ivory. This will enable the Government to support projects from developing countries which tackle the illegal wildlife trade, to be allocated through a competitive “Challenge Fund”. We hope to announce shortly the projects which were successful.

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