Message from Richard Scobey, Executive Director for TRAFFIC

 

The fates of individual species, entire ecosystems and the health of the planet are intrinsically linked. And that is why ensuring that wildlife trade is not a threat to the conservation of nature lies at the heart of TRAFFIC’s work.

Illegal and unsustainable consumption is one of the top global drivers of species decline. And this isn’t just something that happens elsewhere in the world. Unsustainable use of wild products makes its way into all of our lives; in our medicines, in the cosmetics we use and the food that we eat.

The work of TRAFFIC focuses on preventing the unsustainable use of species like tigers, rhinos, elephants and sharks, as well as the lesser-known, but just as important species such as pangolins, Asian songbirds, seahorses, fish, and of course, wild plants. The loss of these species and the many other we focus on can have a widespread impact on the survival of global ecosystems.

By working and partnering with organisations across the world, TRAFFIC endeavours to ensure, the harvesting of resources from the natural world is done in a controlled, legal and sustainable fashion. We must never forget that wildlife trade is an essential source of income and sustenance for many communities around the world and especially for those at risk of losing their livelihoods, homes, and food security to climate change.

The sustainable management of wildlife trade is critical for the recovery of significant species and for long-term action to restore ecosystems. In turn, recovering ecosystems can help strengthen food security, mitigate future health risks, and provide practical solutions to tackle the unprecedented threat of the climate crisis.

Governments, organisations and people from all nations need to truly realise and implement the essential changes and resources that are required for the SMART use of wildlife, and work hand-in-hand to enable our planet to not only to survive but to thrive.

This World Wildlife Day and beyond, we’re echoing the message - we all have a role to play in protecting wildlife and restoring ecosystems.

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