Less corruption and crime for more biodiversity in Africa
In February 2019, Belgium donated 2 million euros to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). With this donation, UNODC will battle corruption and crime in order to prevent the disappearing of wild fauna and forests in Africa.
Each year, more than 350 million wild animals in Africa fall victim to poachers. It has been estimated that annually about € 19 billion circulates in the illegal trade of wildlife products. At the same time, the clear-cutting of the African rainforest continues to increase. ‘If we do not take action now, Africa will have lost half of its birds and mammals by 2050’, says Cristiana Pasca Palmer, head of the UN’s biodiversity program.
With the contribution of 2 million euros to the UNODC, Belgium wants to combat the causes of this loss in biodiversity. The UNODC will use this money to fight the corruption and crime that are destroying the African fauna and forests. After all, corruption is one of the most important causes of the extinction of endangered species. By promoting illegal trade, corruption also weighs on the development of local communities. Furthermore, corruption threatens the governance and the security of the regions by enabling the funding of criminal networks and armed groups. Thus fighting environmental corruption supports ecosystems and biodiversity for the current and future generations.
Thanks to Belgium’s contribution, UNODC will be better able to help the Member States under the ICCWC prevent crimes against protected species of wild flora and fauna (ICCWC: International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime). CITES, INTERPOL, the World Bank and the World Customs Organization are all members of the ICCWC.