The UK government are taking positive steps to combat the illegal trading of wildlife, it has been revealed this week.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has announced that the government will be spending £4.5 million on 14 new Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund projects, in lieu of the London Illegal Wildlife Trade conference that is taking place in less than 100 days.
The illegal wildlife trade is classed as an environmental crime and is the fifth most profitable organised crime worth up to an estimated £17billion a year.
The project plans to tackle the ivory trade, creating tougher sanctions when crimes are committed and will focus on strengthening border law enforcements, bringing in specialist training for border control staff and the detector dogs.
The motivation for the project stems from the government’s desire to reduce the number of African elephants killed for their ivory in a bid to make substantial steps towards safeguarding endangered species and consequently protecting them from extinction. Ten’s of thousands of elephants are killed each year for their ivory, and the plan is to reduce this by at least one third by the 2020 and then halve this rate by 2024.
Click here to view the full list of projects that will receive funding.