Wildlife Crime: Don’t be part of it!
UNODC launches new public service announcement to
raise awareness of criminal trade in wildlife products
Bangkok, 19 November 2013 – The illicit trade of wildlife and its derivatives to, from, and within Asia is worth billions of dollars annually. It fuels organized crime, corruption, and violence. This transnational crime has rarely been a priority for law enforcement and the criminal justice system, allowing traffickers to enjoy a high level of impunity so far.
A rich bio-diversity hot-spot, Southeast Asia and the Pacific is both a point of origin and destination for a significant trade in wildlife that threatens many vital and endangered species with extinction. Rare wildlife is consumed throughout Asia – but particularly in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Viet Nam and Thailand – for luxury meals, and used for status symbol ornaments and in traditional medicine. Asia is now a significant consumer market for smuggled wildlife, driving the massive scale of poaching in Africa.
To highlight the urgency of this issue, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific is launching a wildlife crime public service announcement (PSA) to raise awareness among young Asians that the buying, selling, and consuming of protected species is illegal and finances organized crime.