World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC wildlife crime expert, Crawford Allan has issued the following statement in response to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between TRAFFIC and Alibaba Group to pledge zero tolerance towards sales of illegal wildlife products on the company’s e-commerce site and to educate consumers about the impact of such trade on wildlife:
“This agreement is a major step in tackling e-commerce sales of illegal wildlife trade. Shutting down the marketplaces for illegal wildlife products is crucial to stemming the unprecedented global poaching crisis that is eradicating wild populations of iconic species such as rhinos, tigers and elephants. This commitment from Alibaba shows that the company is serious about removing illegal wildlife products from its business and educating consumers about the impacts of the demand for illegal wildlife products. We hope other e-commerce companies will take similar steps to help reduce the presence of illegal wildlife products on the market through new policies and consumer education.”
Under the MoU, TRAFFIC will work with Alibaba to monitor the e-commerce site’s listings of illegal wildlife products. In addition, TRAFFIC will provide training to Alibaba staff to identify illegal wildlife products on its site. Advertisements, apps and social media channels will also be used to dissuade sales and purchases of illegal wildlife products.