UNDP reiterates support in fighting illegal wildlife trade

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-20 01:47:55|Editor: yan
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DAR ES SALAAM, Dec. 19 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on Tuesday reiterated its support in fighting illegal wildlife trade across the world.

In a statement issued in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam, it said: "UNDP is fully behind global efforts to tackle poaching and the illegal trade of wildlife."

UNDP remained committed to this fight, working closely with governments, civil society, and the private sector to combat the illegal wildlife trade in both supply and demand countries, said the statement.

"UNDP condemns poaching in all its forms. The killing of any elephant is a crime," read the statement.

The statement said issues of corruption across the illegal supply chain of ivory remained one of the greatest challenges in the battle to protect elephants and safeguard the livelihoods and broader societal benefits these majestic creatures provided through tourism and other economic activities.

UNDP was committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, and has rigorous systems and procedures in place to prevent its funds being used for illegal purposes, said the statement.

UNDP has helped countries diversify rural livelihoods, manage human-wildlife conflict, strengthen protected area management, share the benefits from sustainable wildlife management with local communities, and strengthen enforcement responses, according to the statement.

WWF, the world's leading conservation organization, warned in July that rampant ivory poaching reduced the elephant population in Tanzania's oldest and largest protected area by 90 percent in fewer than 40 years.

Nearly 110,000 elephants used to roam the savannas, wetlands, and forests of Selous Game Reserve -- a World Heritage Site -- in the mid-1970s, said the WWF in its report, adding: "Now only 15,000 remain as criminals continued to kill the animals for their ivory tusks."