Global Britain: How the UK Can Help to Tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade
Author: Katie Husselby
On Monday 17th December, the Coalition for Global Prosperity were delighted to host the Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Rt Hon Michael Gove MP, and a panel of experts to call for Britain to continue to act as a global leader in wildlife protection.
The event, co-hosted by the Coalition for Global Prosperity, WWF UK, and the Wildlife Conservation Society, built on the momentum and interest created from the UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in October, and explored how Britain can lead in the fight against the trade and protect endangered species for generations to come.
The Rt Hon Michael Gove MP used his keynote address to draw attention to the crucial joined-up efforts between DEFRA and the Department for International Development in tackling this illicit criminal activity. He emphasised the need to connect with local individuals and initiatives, in order to create real and sustainable change which tackles the root causes of the trade.
Following opening remarks from our co-host Dr Mike Barrett (WWF UK), our Chief Executive Theo Clarke then chaired a panel of wildlife champions: Zac Goldsmith MP (Illegal Wildlife Trade Champion at the Government’s Conference earlier this year), Dr Niall McCann (National Park Rescue), Dr Aili Kang (Wildlife Conservation Society), David Fein (Standard Chartered Bank), and Captain Luke Townsend MA (Ministry of Defence).
Zac Goldsmith emphasised the need for cross-sector and coordinated efforts to tackle this substantial trade.
Dr Niall McCann recognised that the trade is being run in the same manner as drug or people trafficking by organised criminals, and pointed to the need to tackle the root causes of corruption and poverty in order to protect precious national parks.
David Fein, Group General Counsel at Standard Chartered Bank, agreed that the entire model of enterprise needs to be disrupted, utilising the financial sector to prevent illicit financial flows.
Theo Clarke, who chaired the evening’s discussion, brought the evening to a close by praising Britain’s leadership in tackling the Illegal Wildlife Trade and helping to create a more prosperous world for both people and the natural world.