TRAFFIC: Germany hosts forum on illegal wildlife trade’s impact on sustainable development

President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck
President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck

Berlin, Germany, 8th June 2016—As part of the fifth annual “Environment Week”, which showcases innovation in environmental and nature conservation, experts from Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, non-governmental organizations including TRAFFIC, and private sector representatives are meeting this week at the invitation of the President of Germany, Mr. Joachim Gauck, to discuss the challenges posed to sustainable development from poaching and the associated illegal wildlife trade. 

 

The meeting, hosted by GIZ on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), asked participants to examine possible solutions to address the complexities of the current poaching crisis that could be implemented along the entire illegal supply chain of wildlife trade, from Africa to Asia. 

Dr Yannick Kuehl, TRAFFIC’s Regional Director for East Asia was among the invited panellists and outlined the efforts being made to change the behaviour of consumers in Asia towards certain illegal wildlife products. He emphasized that these efforts need to be strategically aligned with measures to reduce wildlife trafficking and poaching in source and transit countries.


“A shift in attitude away from purchasing illegal wildlife products will inevitably lead to a drop in demand, which is a major driver of the poaching crisis,” said Kuehl. 

 

“Changing consumer behaviour isn’t a quick fix solution—but it needs to happen before the time runs out on threatened wildlife.”
Kuehl noted that rising prosperity in East and Southeast Asia presented a critical imperative and opportunity for consumers to lead the way with more sustainable patterns of consumption that have been evident elsewhere. 

 

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