CITES Secretary-General John E. Scanlon met with Brazil High Court Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, Chair of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law (WCEL), and addressed its Steering Committee on the disturbing upward trends with the illegal international trade in wildlife, and most particularly the poaching of the African elephant and rhino for their ivory and horn.
The WCEL and its affiliated IUCN Academy of Environmental Law were asked to consider the inclusion of CITES issues, and in particular the fight against wildlife crime, into their existing and future programmes, especially as they relate to working with legislators, prosecutors and the judiciary, as well as through academic research and capacity building.
In attendance were the Chairs of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas, Dr. Ernesto Enkerlin and IUCN Commission on Education and Communication, Dr. Juliane Zeidler, who were also encouraged to build CITES related issues into their programmes, including their work on World Heritage sites in Africa where elephants are being killed for their ivory, and on outreach and education to raise public awareness of the negative impacts of illicit wildlife trade.
“The IUCN Commissions comprise vast global volunteer networks that we hope to see further mobilized to support the fight against wildlife crime, and in particular to assist in combatting the illegal killing of elephants and rhinos for their ivory and horn” said Mr. Scanlon.
Mr. Scanlon also addressed the International colloquium on Rio+20 and biodiversity: Assessing the future we want in the chamber of the Brazilian Senate on the outcomes of CITES CoP16, with an emphasis on combatting the illegal trade in elephant ivory and rhino horn and taking measures to support the management of the new species brought under CITES control at CoP 16, most particularly sharks and rays.