Wildlife trafficking – the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products – is a soaring black market worth an estimated $10 billion a year.
The Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT) aims to focus public and political attention and resources on ending the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products. CAWT is leveraging the combined strengths of government and nongovernmental partners to:
BUILDING THE COALITIONInitiated in 2005, CAWT is a unique voluntary publicprivate coalition of likeminded governments and organizations that share a common purpose. By joining the Coalition, a partner commits to address the growing threats to wildlife from poaching and illegal trade. CAWT partners work individually and jointly toward achieving the Coalition’s goals, with each partner acting where it can contribute most effectively.
A GLOBAL CONCERNUnchecked demand for exotic pets, rare foods, trophies and traditional medicines is driving many species to the brink of extinction, threatening efforts to meet the 2010 target to reduce global biodiversity loss, and contributing to the spread to humans of virulent wildlife diseases, such as SARS, avian influenza and the Ebola virus. The illegal wildlife trade is often linked to organized crime and involves many of the same culprits and smuggling routes as trafficking in arms, drugs, and persons.
COMPLEMENTING ONGOING EFFORTSThe Coalition complements and reinforces existing national, regional and international efforts. These include: