Illegal Trade in Wildlife


The Ministerial Dialogue on Illegal Trade in Wildlife will be a formal part of the Ministerial segment of UNEA, held in a plenary format on the evening of the 26th June, from 7pm – 10pm.

The scope of the dialogue will move beyond the current attention provided to the poaching crisis facing African elephants and rhinos, addressing a wider range of threats from illegal harvesting and trafficking including timber, fish, tigers, pangolins, great apes, and a broad range of birds, reptiles, and other plants.

A short background document, summarizing the key messages from the Rapid Response Assessment on illegal wildlife trade under preparation, will be made available in May in all UN languages to support discussions. The document will stress the global nature of the challenge, supporting that the scope of the dialogue move beyond the current attention provided to the poaching crisis facing African elephants and rhinos.

The purpose of the Ministerial Dialogue is to provide a high level forum, building on previous and on going initiatives, to exchange views and experiences among Ministers on the challenges of - and progress towards addressing - the illegal trade in wildlife. In addition, the session will demonstrate the role of UNEA in convening such a dialogue on an emerging threat to the global environment. It will be the largest Ministerial gathering to consider illegal wildlife trade convened in the current poaching crisis.

The President of UNEA will Chair the Ministerial Dialogue, with the support of a facilitator. After opening remarks, all participants would be invited to speak, including Ministers, Heads of Delegation of civil society, UN system High-Level representatives and MEA Executive Secretaries. The session would conclude with short summary comments from the facilitator.

The session will be recorded in the form of a chairs summary, and will be included in the meeting report of UNEA. In addition, it is anticipated that the Dialogue will be validated by a decision, which will be considered during the CoW with a view to adoption during the closing session the day after the Ministerial Dialogue.