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Illegal wildlife trade/fishing/logging/mining

The world is dealing with an unprecedented spike in illegal wildlife trade, threatening to overturn decades of conservation gains. Wildlife trade is a big business, run by international criminal networks, trafficking wildlife and animal parts much like illegal drugs and arms. By its very nature, it is almost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlife trade, but experts at estimate that it runs into hundreds of millions of dollars.

Trends in illegal wildlife trade

The baseline data on legal wildlife trade is collected by the 183 Parties of CITES and submitted annually, which is compiled and maintained in the CITES trade database.  CITES Parties will also begin the submission of annual illegal trade reports from 2017.

Data on illegal trade (seizures) is currently compiled by UNODC in World WISE, a new data platform that contains seizures related to wildlife crime, including illegal logging, from 120 countries. 

Funding to tacking illegal wildlife trade
The Donor Roundtable on Wildlife and Forest Crime, established in 2015 and comprising CITES, UNDP, UNEP, UNODC, and the World Bank, has undertaken a study to analyze multilateral, bilateral and other international funds committed by donors to  directly address the illegal wildlife trade crisis (funds committed to programs/projects focused on fish and timber products that are not integrated into broader fauna-focused interventions were excluded from the analysis). 
 
The donor coordination mechanism and analysis provide a baseline with which international donor coordination and scaling up of global support actions may be more effectively considered. Further, it can facilitate sharing of lessons learned and future assessments to enhance understanding of the effectiveness of different interventions to help target future resources. A total of $1.3 billion was committed by 24 international donors between 2010 and June 2016, funding 1,105 projects in 60 different countries and various regional and global projects. 
 

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing
Illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing remains one of the greatest threats to marine ecosystems due to its potent ability to undermine national and regional efforts to manage fisheries sustainably as well as endeavours to conserve marine biodiversity. A framework of international instruments has been developed over the last decades and, together, include a powerful suite of tools which can be used to combat IUU fishing. 
 
One of the key milestones in combatting IUU fishing was the adoption by the FAO Conference in 2009 and entering into force of the FAO Agreement on Port State Measures to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate IUU fishing. This agreement obliges parties to undertake a number of measures which aim to block the flow of IUU-caught fish into national and international markets and ultimately ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of living marine resources.