International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime Launched in St. Petersburg
23 November 2010: During the International Tiger Conservation Forum, held from 21-24 November, in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the Secretary-General of ICPO-INTERPOL, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the President of the World Bank and the Secretary-General of the World Customs Organization signed a Letter of Understanding to bring into effect the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC).
CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said the Consortium's creation “sends a very clear message that a new era of wildlife law enforcement is upon us, one where wildlife criminals will face a determined and coordinated opposition, rather than the current situation where the risks of detection and of facing penalties that match their crimes are often low.”
Also during the Forum, Scanlon addressed the Illegal Tiger Trade session, during which he highlighted CITES' work on tiger conservation and combat of illegal trade. Scanlon noted the belief of the CITES Secretariat that much of today's illegal trade in tigers could be markedly reduced if concerted, collective efforts were made by the law enforcement community against those involved in the destructive crimes. Detailing the complementary skills of the agencies involved in the Consortium, he said that the goal was to introduce a new era to wildlife law enforcement. [Scanlon's Statement] [CITES Press Release] [The Letter of Understanding]