The illegal wildlife trade, currently estimated to be worth up to £17 billion globally per year.
Endangered species including tigers, orangutans, pangolins and rosewood trees will be better protected under a range of projects funded by the government this year aimed at tackling the damaging illegal wildlife trade. Seventeen conservation projects across the globe will receive over £7 million from the UK’s flagship Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.
The illegal wildlife trade, currently estimated to be worth up to £17 billion globally per year is a serious organised crime that threatens species with extinction, fuels corruption, deprives some of the world’s poorest communities of sustainable livelihoods and degrades ecosystems ability to store carbon.
The UK Government’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund provides essential support to projects around the world in tackling the illegal wildlife trade for the benefit of wildlife, nature, local communities and economies, and global security.
The funding granted by the UK government under the fund this year will be vital to bending the curve on biodiversity loss and poverty alleviation around the world. There are eight projects in Asia, six in Africa and three in South America.
The illegal wildlife trade destroys wildlife, threatens species and fuels corruption. Iconic species including tigers, orangutans and elephants are all moving closer towards extinction and it is important that we do everything we can to reverse this decline. Said, International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith
The UK is investing over £46m between 2014 and 2022 to combat illegal trade by reducing the demand for illegal wildlife trade products, strengthening enforcement, ensuring effective legal frameworks and developing sustainable livelihoods. This latest boost in funding builds upon previous successful Challenge Fund projects which to date have committed over £34 million to 109 projects in over 50 countries since the Fund’s establishment in 2014.
Today’s announcement also marks the launch of Round 8 of Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund funding for projects working to tackle illegal wildlife trade in sub–Saharan Africa, East and South-East Asia and Latin America. Projects which aim to reduce demand for illegal wildlife trade products are strongly encouraged to apply, however, all projects which aim to combat the illegal wildlife trade will be eligible.
Applicants to Round 8 of the fund have until 22 November to submit their Stage 1 application. For more information on previous projects as well as how to apply please visit www.iwt.challengefund.org.uk
The UK Government is committed to supporting conservation globally and follows our plan to improve standards both domestically and overseas as set out in our Action Plan for Animal Welfare.