New International Maritime Organization guidelines to combat wildlife smuggling

This endorsement by the United Nations’ specialised company sends a powerful message on the rising global engagement against the unlawful wildlife trade (IWT) and its impacts on world wide biodiversity, straight threatening the survival of numerous species in the wild.

The Rules were formally submitted to FAL46 by Brazil, Colombia, Germany, Kenya, Tanzania, the Intergovernmental Standing Committee on Delivery (ISCOS), the Intercontinental Chamber of Delivery (ICS), the Planet Large Fund for Character (WWF), the Intercontinental Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Worldwide Organisation of Airports and Seaports Police (INTERPORTPOLICE). This is the initially time the IMO has taken a daring stage to combat IWT exploiting the maritime shipping market. The Rules provide substantial suggestions for each federal government businesses and the personal sector to maximize thanks diligence above this criminal activity. Official initiatives started off in FAL44 (44th Conference of the Facilitation Committee in 2020) led by the Republic of Kenya with a operating group composed of the United Nations Progress Programme (UNDP), WWF, Visitors and United for Wildlife Transport Taskforce.

We are thrilled that the IMO Member States have produced this dedication to tackling the unlawful networks that exploit maritime offer chains to targeted traffic wildlife. These new Guidelines, including the Purple Flag Compendium, will give a basic resource to assist governments and the personal sector to just take collaborative motion towards the unlawful wildlife trade and aid to preserve our world wide biodiversity.”

Philippa Dyson, TRAFFIC’s coordinator of transportation sector engagementWildlife trafficking is a escalating worry globally, threatening not only biodiversity but also ecosystems essential for climate alter mitigation, domestic and intercontinental economies, and likely human wellbeing. Organised felony groups are significantly taking portion in this unlawful activity which is even now regarded “low hazard – significant reward”. Smugglers exploit the weaknesses in supply chains to illegally transportation endangered species, such as live animals, animal merchandise, vegetation and timber. With 90% of the globe trade remaining seaborne and an believed 72-90% of illicit wildlife volumes becoming trafficked through maritime transport, the sector holds a responsibility to interact versus this transnational organised crime.  

The Suggestions highlight actions and techniques already offered to the non-public sector and governing administration agencies to combat wildlife trafficking within just the sector.The document supplies information and facts on the character and context of maritime smuggling of wildlife. It features actions to prevent, detect and report wildlife trafficking inside of the maritime sector, with an emphasis on thanks diligence, obligation-sharing and cooperation involving all stakeholders along the offer chains.

These recommendations present a gamechanger in the struggle against the illegal wildlife trade. Via focused and expert support from IMO member states and companions, government authorities and providers can put into practice better safeguarding measures to safeguard their personnel, enterprise, and nature, critical to shielding the integrity of maritime offer chains from operational, financial, stability, and zoonotic wellness risks.” 

Dr. Margaret Kinnaird, World Wildlife Exercise Chief of WWF“What was novel in 2020 has now develop into the UN typical to mitigate threats, investigate and report IWT in the shipping source chain. The adoption of these guidelines will catalyse worldwide cooperation in the maritime sector to fight IWT. We’re unbelievably happy of our section in delivering analysis, consultation and outreach aid to the IMO companions and we’re pleased to announce that our do the job will continue as we embark on supporting IMO get-togethers and the maritime field with regional and nationwide roll-out of these pointers,” added Kinnaird.

Toward the adoption of the Guidelines, the functioning team collaborated with assorted stakeholders, together with governments, academia, experienced organisations, personal businesses, non-governmental organisations and inter-governmental organisations. This resulted in broad assistance from IMO Associates, observers and consultative organisations at FAL46.

The Republic of Kenya emphasised that “their govt is thankful to all Member States who supported the enhancement of these Guidelines and who contributed to their finalisation. This will enormously assistance to secure our wildlife, where ever it may be.”

Traffic and WWF device kinds element of the new IMO tips

New International Maritime Organization guidelines to combat wildlife smuggling
WWF and Targeted traffic released the Pink Flag Compendium for Wildlife and Timber Trafficking in Containerised Cargo in July 2021.

In July 2021, WWF and Targeted visitors introduced the ‘The Crimson Flag Compendium for Wildlife and Timber Trafficking in Containerised Cargo’ which specifics the warning indications of corruption, wildlife smuggling and other connected crimes. It attributes added instruments to discover prolifically trafficked CITES-detailed species, including major cats, precise maritime daily life, significant mammal species these as rhino, elephant, and timber. This compendium consists of at-possibility routes as perfectly as standard indicators of illicit actions this sort of as questionable paperwork and discrepancies in data these kinds of as value, bodyweight, and look. The software now forms part of the new IMO Rules.

The Guidelines symbolize an crucial step in recognizing the maritime sector’s role in tackling wildlife trafficking. They will enable generate and endorse procedures that understand and respect the importance of mother nature and aid lots of of the world’s most threatened species.  WWF will keep participating with the stakeholders by supplying know-how and support in recognition-increasing, instruction pertinent staff, plan advocacy and adapting the sector’s procedures.


The UNDP-GEF-USAID Project “Reducing Maritime Trafficking of Wildlife involving Africa and Asia”, financed by the World Surroundings Facility (GEF) and USAID and carried out by the United Nations Enhancement Programme (UNDP) considering the fact that 2018, is a US$4 million partnership initiative less than the GEF-financed, Earth Lender-led World Wildlife Program. It aims to curb maritime wildlife trafficking, concentrating on crucial routes and transit details among Africa and Asia. The International Wildlife Plan (GWP) is a world wide partnership on Wildlife Conservation and Criminal offense Prevention for Sustainable Progress bringing alongside one another 37 projects throughout 32 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin The united states.

In January 2022, the UNDP-led task, in partnership with Targeted visitors, United for Wildlife, UNODC and WWF, revealed the recognition-boosting online video ‘Combating Unlawful Wildlife Trade as a result of Ports’ with complementing actuality sheets to 1) increase awareness on the problem, impacts and scale of illegal wildlife trade via containerized cargo 2) indicate red flags for legislation enforcement that may possibly point out probable illegal cargo, and 3) emphasize the great importance of community and private sector collaboration to beat wildlife trafficking.

This is a joint press release amongst WWF and Targeted visitors