CITES move to stump out wildlife Cybercrime

Delegates at the CoP17 of CITES have today in South Africa ratified the commitment to stamp out illegal online wildlife trade.
The Decision by the 183 State Parties requires all Parties to take a raft of measures to ensure that cybercrime is stopped, bring together governments, enforcers and online tech companies, in a common mission to save wildlife. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) said it welcomed the Decision which, they believe, takes huge strides in the fight to disrupt the often murky and secretive world of wildlife cybercrime.
“We are delighted by the decision and thank particularly Kenya, which tabled the issue at the CoP in Johannesburg. Wildlife cybercrime is a serious threat to endangered species as research conducted by us since 2004 has established. This decision will enable Governments across the globe to take the strongest action to counter the scourge,” said Tania McCrea-Steele, Global Wildlife Cybercrime Project Lead for IFAW.
The Decision ratified in the final plenary session of CITES, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) held in Johannesburg, South Africa over the past two weeks, enables Government to establish and share best practises on enforcement actions, including working with INTERPOL to establish guidelines for investigations.
It further empower governments to ensure they have the strongest possible legislation in place and encourage increased engagement between the Secretariat, governments and online marketplaces and social media platforms to tackle wildlife cybercrime.
Additionally, it calls for the establishment of a workshop on wildlife cybercrime that includes both producer and consumer countries and those with large internet companies, non-governmental organisations with expertise, lawyers, and other relevant experts to take this issue forward to the next CoP.
“This decision will lead to a much more cohesive counter offensive against wildlife cybercriminals by enabling more effective enforcement and better engagement with the commercial sector, supported by stronger legislation to stamp out this form of criminality,” said McCrea-Steele.
The proposal on combating wildlife cybercrime was raised by Kenya, and was unanimously supported by all 183 member Parties to CITES.

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