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CITES, UNEP Welcome Developments in Combating Wildlife Trafficking

CITES UNEPJuly 3 2013: The Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) has welcomed the Executive Order on Combating Wildlife Trafficking issued by US President Barack Obama, while UNEP has profiled a new tool for dating elephant husks as well as a poster campaign to curb demand for illegal wildlife products.

The US Executive Order establishes a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking to be co-chaired by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General (Co-Chairs), or their designees. John Scanlon, Secretary-General, CITES, in welcoming the Order, highlighted that it sends a powerful message both domestically and internationally on the need to treat wildlife crime on par with narcotics and arms trafficking.

Among the tools used to combat illegal trade, a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) press release highlights a new forensic technique for dating elephant tusks. A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) highlights that this new method could make it easier to enforce the ivory ban and save the African elephant from extinction.

UNEP also notes a poster campaign aimed at sensitizing the public to the true cost of illegal wildlife products, such as ivory and rhino horn, that was launched in the Shanghai metro system. The campaign is run by UNEP with CITES and the GoodPlanet Foundation. [CITES Press Release] [UNEP Press Release on New Method for Dating Elephant Tusks] [UNEP Press Release on Powerful Posters Bring Wildlife Protection Message]