16 February 2022
MALAWI JOINS CALLS FOR A GLOBAL AGREEMENT TO TACKLE WILDLIFE CRIME
Born Free welcomes announcement by the President of Malawi, which takes us one step closer to securing vital protection for wild animals.
The President of Malawi H.E. Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera has today announced his support for the development of a global agreement to tackle wildlife crime, adding his voice to those of the Presidents of Gabon, Costa Rica and Angola.
The four Presidents are endorsing proposals from the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime for a protocol on tackling wildlife trafficking to be developed under the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, which would compel nations to criminalise wildlife trafficking, increase collaboration and information exchange on wildlife crimes, enhance border controls and take measures to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products. Born Free is a co-founder and Steering Group member of the Global Initiative, which is chaired by former CITES Secretary General John Scanlon AO.
In response to the news, Born Free’s Head of Policy, Dr Mark Jones said: “Wildlife trafficking is devastating wildlife populations, causing untold animal suffering, and putting animal and human health at risk. Yet there is currently no global agreement on tackling this multi-billion dollar illegal business. The President of Malawi’s support takes us one step closer to securing a vital agreement, and we congratulate him on his courage and foresight. Alongside our partners at the Global Initiative, we will continue to seek support of Governments for the development and implementation of a legally-binding global agreement.”
The next step in the process will be securing a Resolution to develop the agreement, at the upcoming meeting of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Vienna in May 2022.
Malawi’s UN Resident Representative, Mr Rudolph Schwenk, accepting the President’s statement from Hon Usi, Minister of Tourism & Wildlife (President Chakwera is currently on business in Belgium so could not attend himself).