Illegal wildlife trade and trafficking have grabbed the attention of the global community in the last few years. While the focus has mostly been on Africa and Asia, illegal markets for live animals, wildlife-based products (pelts, scales, bones etc.) and wild meat in Latin America and the Caribbean are also of concern. Indeed, the illegal wildlife trade in the region also involves the sale of protected and endemic species from a wide range of taxa and several species have already been over-exploited or locally depleted, threatening the structure and functioning of unique ecosystems and their services. In recognition for the need to take these regional specificities into consideration, the government of Peru has decided to organise the next Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in Lima, Peru in November 2019, with support from the Government of the United Kingdom.

In past Illegal Wildlife Trade Conferences (London UK, 2018, Hanoi Vietnam, 2016; Kasane, Botswana 2015), the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Specialist Group (SULi), has played a key role in ensuring that community voices are taken into consideration in strategies to combat illegal wildlife trade. Through its “Beyond Enforcement” Initiative SULi has been successful in highlighting the negative impacts of illegal wildlife trade on local communities, particularly when local rights on land and resources are undermined and when over-exploitation jeopardises traditional ways of life. It has also been instrumental in ensuring that strategies to reduce illegal wildlife trade, contribute to improved human well-being and livelihoods, and recognize the contribution of local and sustainable wildlife use practices to cultural identity, social resilience and biodiversity conservation. In this regard, it is vital community engagement in tackling wildlife crime.

Immediately prior to the London Conference in 2018, SULi together with IIED, ZSL and FFI organised a “Community Voices” event to gather community perspectives on IWT and to feed those perspectives into the Conference.





SERNANP @ Copyright 2019