Friday 30 May 2014

Poaching tops Agenda at First UN Environment Meeting in Nairobi

Poaching and other types of illegal trade in wildlife are set to top the agenda at the first ever United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA) to be held in Nairobi in June.

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner said they are planning to table a report on the growing trade and the threat it poses at the meeting.

"This is not a small thing. The threat it poses is not to be underestimated," he reiterated, "because we are confronted with a battle that we're not winning."

And while Steiner admitted that there remains an absence of empirical evidence directly linking poaching to terrorism, he maintained that it did not negate the very real possibility that one fed the other.
Kenya's Permanent Representative to UNEP Martin Kimani said "Elephant and rhino poaching are something the government is fighting day and night to eradicate so we're happy to put our heads together with the rest of the world and host this very important conversation,"

Steiner said that the meeting would inject some much needed impetus into the fight. The subject will be raised at the highest levels with over 100 government representatives expected at the UNEA meeting between June 23 and 27.

"We need to address the consumer end because there will be no point to poaching if there is no market for the trophies. And with China being one of the biggest consumers of ivory we're already holding exhibitions there, in train stations and elsewhere, to sensitise the public on the high price there is to pay for that trophy, that mythical cure," he said.

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