The Royal Foundation and UNODC Join Forces to Combat Illegal Wildlife Trade

PeopleOther ♦ Published: July 23, 2023; 22:53 ♦ (Vindobona)

The Royal Foundation of The Prince and Princess of Wales and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has announced a landmark partnership to address the global illegal wildlife trade through the United for Wildlife program.

Illegal wildlife trade is a problem and can pose a serious threat to threatened and endangered species. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons, Kürschner, Public domain

The three-year agreement, starting on 1st August, aims to combine resources and expertise to fight the illegal wildlife trade, which is associated with violent crime, corruption, and trafficking and is worth up to $20 billion annually. This high-level collaboration underscores the global scale of the problem and the need for concerted efforts to protect precious natural resources and vulnerable communities.

Founded in 2014 by Prince William and The Royal Foundation, United for Wildlife fosters collaboration among public, private, and not-for-profit sectors to combat wildlife crime. By increasing the identification and investigation of wildlife crime, the program seeks to prevent traffickers from exploiting vulnerabilities in global transport and financial systems.

The partnership between The Royal Foundation and UNODC will leverage United for Wildlife's private sector and NGO partnerships, combined with UNODC's global network of wildlife crime advisers and relationships with law enforcement entities and national governments. This collaboration will enhance the detection and disruption of the harmful illegal wildlife trade.

Through this new partnership, UNODC officers and objectives focused on United for Wildlife will be integrated into key UNODC programs, expanding its visibility, membership, and regional coverage. The partnership will establish officers in various regions, including Southern Africa, West Africa, East Africa, Latin America, and Asia. This move aims to bolster law enforcement engagement in combating criminal syndicates involved in the illegal wildlife trade and address high-level corruption that facilitates trafficking. The collaboration will also promote cross-sector cooperation and information-sharing to support seizures, investigations, and arrests related to wildlife crime.

The Chief People & Sustainability Officer of DP World, Maha Al Qattan, expressed support for bringing The Royal Foundation and UNODC together, emphasizing the need for joint efforts to tackle the negative impact of the illegal wildlife trade on global trade, communities, and biodiversity.

Over the past six years, United for Wildlife has achieved significant results, contributing to over 500 law enforcement cases, more than 400 arrests, nearly 300 seizures of wildlife products, and training over 100,000 people. With a network spanning the globe, the program aims to increase deterrents across the entire chain of demand and supply, from Southeast Asia to South America, Europe to East Africa.


The Royal Foundation