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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.
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Funding to tacking illegal wildlife trade

The top five donors were the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Germany, the United States, the European Commission, and the World Bank Group, who together contributed $1.1 billion of the total funding (86 per cent). Other key findings of the Analysis of International Funding to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade:

  • Sixty-three percent of the funds went toward efforts in Africa ($833 million), 29 per cent to Asia ($381 million), 6 per cent to global programs and initiatives ($81 million), and 2 per cent to projects covering both Africa and Asia ($35 million).
  • The top five recipient countries were Tanzania (8 per cent), the Democratic Republic of Congo (5 per cent), Mozambique (5 per cent), Gabon (3 per cent), and Bangladesh (3 per cent).
  • Forty-six percent of the funding supported protected area management, while 19 per cent went to law enforcement including intelligence-led operations and transnational coordination, 15 per cent for sustainable use and alternative livelihoods, 8 per cent for policy and legislation, 6 per cent for research and assessment, and 6 per cent for communication and awareness raising.

Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing

Building upon the results of a series of regional workshops conducted by FAO to raise awareness about the Agreement and to strengthen national and regional fisheries governance to combat IUU fishing completed in April 2016, FAO has formulated a global programme to support coastal and small island developing States in building capacity to adopt and implement the provisions of the Agreement and complementary international instruments and regional mechanisms to combat IUU fishing. The programme will contribute to Sustainable Development Goal 14.4, which calls for ending overfishing, IUU fishing and destructive fishing practices by 2020 through, inter alia, capacity building and support for monitoring, control, surveillance, compliance and enforcement systems. 
Additionally, FAO is working on a number of initiatives which will support the work to combat IUU fishing, including the Voluntary Guidelines on Catch Documentation Schemes, the Global Record of Fishing Vessels, Refrigerated Transport Vessels and Supply Vessels (Global Record), and the drafting of technical guidelines on methodologies and indicators to estimate IUU fishing.