By Sudeshna Chowdhury
In a recent report to the U.N. Security Council, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon acknowledged the possibility of poaching as a threat to not just wildlife or endangered species, but to the greater stability and peace in general.
“Poaching and its potential linkages to other criminal, even terrorist, activities constitute a grave menace to sustainable peace and security in Central Africa,” he said in the report.
Early this month, U.S. President Barack Obama also announced new initiatives to tackle international poaching.
Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), the rebel group responsible for killing hundreds and displacing thousands in the Central African Republic (CAR) and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), is poaching elephants to buy weapons and ammunition, according to a report by the Enough Project.
From ivory in Africa to rhino horns in northeast India, the poaching nexus is extensive and complicated.
Poaching statistics say it all.
A record 668 rhinos were reported killed in 2012, according to the “Illicit Trade Report” published by the World Customs Organization (WCO), an intergovernmental organisation.
According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), rhino poaching in South Africa increased 3000 percent between 2007 and 2011. More....