How does the United Nations respond to illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking?
Last Updated: May 21, 2019
The UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is the lead department working on issues related to wildlife and forest crime.
In 2010, UNODC and 4 other international bodies formed an International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime to bring together the expertise of each agency to support countries combating these crimes. The other organizations are:
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Secretariat
- CITES is an international agreement that aims to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival.
- The CITES Secretariat is administered by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP)
- International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL)
- World Bank
- World Customs Organization (WCO)
UN General Assembly and wildlife
General Assembly resolutions on the topic include:
- General Assembly resolution 69/314, Tackling illicit trafficking in wildlife, adopted 30 July 2015
- General Assembly resolution 68/205, proclaiming 3 March as World Wildlife Day, adopted 20 December 2013
High-Level Special Events:
During the 68th and 69th sessions of the General Assembly, Gabon and Germany coordinated high-level side events on Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking:
- 26 September 2014: Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: Towards Joint Action by the International Community (A/69/430)
- 26 September 2013: Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: A Multidimensional Crime and a Growing Challenge to the International Community (A/68/553)
In addition, a high-level side event was held at the 13th UN Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, held in Doha from 12 to 19 April 2015 (A/CONF.222/17).
- 13 April 2015: Wildlife and Forest Crime: A Serious Crime
UN Programmes and Funds and wildlife
Several UN programmes and offices have focused on the problem of wildlife poaching and trafficking including:
- UN Development Programme (UNDP): Combating Poaching and Wildlife Trafficking
- UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA): Illegal Trade in Wildlife
- UNEA held its first session from 23 to 27 June 2014 (A/69/25)
- 26 June 2014: Ministerial dialogue on Illegal Trade in Wildlife
- UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC): Wildlife and Forest Crime
Selected UN Publications
UN documents and publications on illicit trade and wildlife can be found by searching the UN Digital Library. Relevant subject terms: wildlife, wildlife conservation, illicit traffic.
- UNEP Perspectives: Illicit Wildlife Trafficking: An Environmental, Economic and Issue - This publication series will present views from Major Groups and Stakeholders of Civil Society on global environmental issues and themes that are relevant to them and UNEP.
- UN Chronicle: Illegal Wildlife Trade - This issue takes a closer look at poaching and illegal wildlife trade, with a focus on causes and possible solutions.
Disclaimer: answers are prepared by library staff using resources available at the time of writing. This site may include links and references to third-party databases, websites, books and articles, this does not imply endorsement by the United Nations.