3 March 2021

Cargo ships have become increasingly favoured over the last year as a means for criminal organizations to transport illegal wildlife products, , after COVID-19 related restrictions disrupted other forms of transportation.


A stockpile of pangolin scales seized by government officials in Cameroon., by TRAFFIC/Andrew Walmsley

UN agencies are heavily involved in ramped-up efforts to curb sea-bound trafficking which has, until recently, been a relatively low risk way to criminals to transport illegal products, such as ivory and pangolin scales.

Low awareness of wildlife trafficking, weak enforcement capacity, and limited coordination among the main players involved in shipping have all played a role. 

Now a range of programmes supported by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) including a maritime trafficking project, is aiming to tame the illegal wildlife trade.

Find more details, and stunning pictures of the wildlife that needs protecting from illegal trade, here.


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