UN Security Council Sanctions Target Groups Financed through Poaching and Illegal Trade in Wildlife

United Nations3 February 2014: The UN Security Council has adopted two resolutions, 2136 (2014) and 2134 (2014), which through sanctions regimes, address the links between wildlife crime and the finance of armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

In renewing the Democratic Republic of the Congo sanctions regime, resolution 2136 (2014) targets individuals and entities illegally supporting armed groups through, inter alia, the illicit trade of natural resources, including wildlife products such as elephant ivory. Resolution 2134 (2014), underscores, inter alia, the link between wildlife crime and conflict through the adoption of a separate sanctions regime for the Central African Republic. It also targets individuals involved in the illicit exploitation of wildlife and wildlife products.

The UN has stressed that ivory has become a major source of finance for armed groups and has led to the depletion of elephants in Central Africa. As highlighted by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), a UN experts' report (S/2014/42) on the Democratic Republic of the Congo dated 23 January 2014, underscores that the killing of elephants in-country is linked to years of war and poor governance.

In resolution 2136 (2014), the Security Council also reiterates its call to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and countries in the Great Lakes region to cooperate at the regional level to investigate and combat regional criminal networks and armed groups involved in the illegal use of natural resources, including wildlife poaching and trafficking. [UN Press Release on Resolution 2136 (2014)] [Resolution 2134 (2014)] [CITES News] [Traffic Press Release] [Congo Basin Forest Partnership Press Release]