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JGI renews its global approach to fighting wildlife trafficking

JGI renews its global approach to fighting wildlife trafficking

JGI Global’s ForeverWild Team has concluded its first major update of the Institute’s Anti-Wildlife Trafficking Policy, first drafted in 2018.

In this blog, JGI Global’s resident expert on wildlife crime, Zara Bending (based out of JGI Australia) reflects on this critical milestone:

Being a global organisation has enriched our understanding and informed our approaches and priorities in tackling a challenge as complex as wildlife trafficking. There is movement at the international level – for example the international law reform efforts of the Global Initiative to End Wildlife Crime for which we are a proud International Champion. At the same time, our offices of JGI give us insight into how local authorities and stakeholders at the national level (e.g. transport and freight, zoological parks and sanctuaries, and financial institutions) are contending with this problem that has far-reaching consequences for animals, people, and our shared environment.

As a science-led institution, it was important for us to really delve into the research across a range of topics; including the convergence between wildlife trafficking and other forms of transnational organised crime, the threat of zoonotic disease outbreak linked to illicit wildlife trade, the intelligence on chimpanzee trafficking, the role of corruption, and the impact of e-commerce and social media. We also wanted to explore how wildlife trafficking is interlinked with, and exacerbated by, other global and local issues such as climate change, conflict, habitat loss, food security, and sustainable development.

There’s a risk of getting lost in the data, or falling into doom and gloom, when facing these huge and complex threats to what Dr. Jane Goodall calls the tapestry of life. But we work tirelessly and with hope, never losing sight of the impact of wildlife trafficking on individuals. Chimpanzee infants need their mothers for the first six or so years of their lives to safely learn how to survive and thrive. Separating infants from their mothers so that they can become someone’s pet is a far flung location only leads to a lifetime of suffering. We know that as many as ten chimpanzees may be killed for each live chimpanzee illegally traded, so you can imagine what the ‘lucky ones’ we receive at sanctuaries have witnessed. These crimes are not victimless by any stretch of the imagination.

We hope for a time when stable, viable and culturally diverse populations of chimpanzees can live in peaceful coexistence with human communities throughout their range in Africa. JGI is committed to collaborating with fellow organisations to disrupt the networks involved in the trafficking of wildlife.

As we celebrate International Day of Biodiversity 2024, we’re looking forward to making our policies work as #partoftheplan to protect, conserve and boost biodiversity for future generations.

We encourage our followers to read our revised policy, learn more on our website about wildlife trafficking and how it harms chimpanzees, and follow their local offices of JGI and Roots & Shots groups. Join our global campaign to keep wildlife ForeverWild.

“No organisation on its own, no country on its own, can effectively stop the illegal wildlife trade that knows no borders. Only through our collective efforts, continued collaboration across borders, can we stamp out this cruel and devastating trade, wildlife trafficking. Together we simply must. Otherwise, the effects will be so devastating that entire ecosystems will collapse, and future generations will never know the joy of going out to see some of these extraordinary animals, and trees, and plants in the wild.”

-Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, Founder Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace

Click here to read the policy

Click here to learn more about the trafficking of great apes

Image credit (top) JGI/Fernando Turmo

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