The heads of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) recently released a statement emphasizing the role of corruption in feeding and sustaining wildlife and forest crime. “For the criminals to succeed, customs officials must be bribed to look away; logging and hunting licenses forged; and poachers set free due to obstructed prosecutions,” the statement said. Corruption has facilitated the theft of countries’ natural wealth and has undermined efforts to eradicate poverty and spur economic development. Tackling corruption and bribery will, in turn, “deal a significant blow” to transnational criminal networks involved in the illicit wildlife trade.
The statement highlights the role that the United Nations Convention against Corruption can play in fighting graft, but also says there is a need for greater efforts to encourage its 177 signatories to fully implement the convention.
Read the full statement here.
(The Sentry, an initiative of the Enough Project, seeks to disrupt and ultimately dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts.)