Traffic-Illegal wildlife trade threat highlighted during internet governance forum





Taipei, Taiwan, 29th July 2016—The threat posed by illegal online trade in wildlife products was a focus of a special event held on World Tiger Day in Taipei, during the Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum. 

TRAFFIC’s investigations into online wildlife trafficking have uncovered thousands of products made from threatened species openly advertised online on a daily basis, including in JapanMalaysia and China. It has also revealed the move to sellclandestinely online via social media, which offers traders greater anonymity. 

Parts of threatened species found for sale online include elephants, rhinoceroses, marine turtles and Tigers. TRAFFIC staff told internet governance experts and interested youth about how such illegal trade threatens to undermine international conservation attempts to double the number of wild Tigers by 2022, so-called Tx2. 

“Illegal wildlife trade online encourages poaching of wild animals like the Tiger through driving demand,” said Dr Yannick Kuehl, TRAFFIC’s Regional Director for East Asia. 

“It’s far too easy for consumers to turn a blind eye to the damage they are causing when all they need to do is click on a website and the product is delivered to their doorstep.” 

“TRAFFIC and our partners are committed to curbing illegal wildlife trade and we are excited to see this workshop helping raise this issue with the Internet Governance community.”

Given the global reach of the internet, industry-wide exchanges and policy frameworks on online illegal wildlife trade are needed to address the issue comprehensively and effectively. These could help to simplify and standardize global efforts to police the internet to combat illegal trade online.


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