Wildlife crime continues to capture the international headlines. Poaching and illegal wildlife trade have always been problems, yet today a true crisis has developed! If no action is taken against the poaching on the ground and the trafficking in certain regions the survival of species is threatened. This all is evident not only from the media and the research reports circulating, but also from the outcome of the various high-level summits which have taken place on the subject, culminating in the London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade last month.
To date, the focus of these meetings has been mainly on the actions which can be taken at the international level, mainly that of governments and international organisations. Local initiatives and projects have been mentioned, without getting the weight they deserve, however. The illegal killings take place at the local level, and without the full involvement of the local people as well as the private sector governmental and international institutions will fail to induce efficient action in the areas where the wildlife occurs.
One group, which has so far gone unmentioned completely, are the 30 million hunters, who are managing and conserving wildlife on a day to day basis. They are there where the wildlife is, including the endangered species. It is well-known that legal, well-regulated and sustainable hunting is an important component of wildlife conservation, with a proven track record; and embedded therein are demonstrable actions on the ground in the global efforts to contain wildlife crime.
With this in mind, hunters of the world will gather at the 2014 General Assembly of the CIC in Milan, Italy for a historic World Summit on the 24th of April 2014. The Summit is organised as an urgent response by hunters all over the world, who are concerned by the new dimensions which wildlife crime is taking, including an increase in the prevalence of organised crime.
This summit will demonstrate the potential of mobilising the hunters in the world to strengthen the global fight against wildlife criminals. It will also serve to highlight what more the hunting community is capable of contributing to this fight
The current face of wildlife crime requires an overhaul of the present management actions. Together, hunters can serve as a strong and efficient force to substantially support enforcement efforts against wildlife crime, mainly at the local level.
This Global Summit represents a clarion call for the global hunting community to join together and partner with all interest groups committed to arresting and reversing the present crisis. We hunters and sportsmen love wildlife and we want to see it survive. Without it our passion will be futile. The summit will bring together wildlife conservation leaders and law enforcement professionals representing national and international organizations to discuss a range of bi-lateral and multi-lateral actions to stem the current wildlife crime crisis and conclude on ways out of the crisis.
For further details, please consult the official website of the event.