CITES Task Force Addresses Poaching of Elephant and Rhino Ivory

24 May 2011: The Ivory and Rhinoceros Enforcement Task Force of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) met at UN Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters in Gigiri, Kenya, from 17-19 May 2011, to discuss urgent actions against crimes targeting elephants and rhinos.

According to CITES, the meeting was attended by 20 law enforcement representatives from 12 countries, and four of the five organizations of the recently formed International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), a partnership between CITES, INTERPOL, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the World Bank and the World Customs Organization. The CITES Secretariat convened the meeting of the Task Force with support from the European Commission.

Participants discussed the increasing demand for both rhinoceros horn and elephant ivory, despite successful actions by the law enforcement community. They agreed on the need for better communication, collaboration and coordination, and exchange of data. They further stressed the importance of encouraging enforcement agencies to delay releasing news of significant seizures until information has been provided to relevant counterparts in countries of origin and destination, as well as to international enforcement bodies. [CITES Press Release]