Today saw positive steps forward for rhinos, as governments demanded accountability for those countries most complicit in the illegal rhino horn trade. CITES has agreed to send Secretariat missions to both Vietnam and Mozambique to assess the situation on the ground as key countries implicated in rhino trafficking. Based on the results of those missions, there may be a recommendation for trade sanctions if significant progress is not made.
In response, WWF issued the following statement Leigh Henry, wildlife policy expert at WWF.
“CITES only works when its member governments hold each other accountable. Today, CITES sent a strong signal to Vietnam and Mozambique that it can no longer tolerate their role in the illegal rhino horn trade.
“Ineffective laws and a lack of arrests, prosecutions, and convictions in both countries is simply unacceptable. Strong national governance is critical to disrupting the transnational criminal networks masterminding the illicit flow of horn and threatening the security of the world’s remaining rhino populations.
“If significant progress hasn’t been made in one year’s time, CITES must impose trade sanctions.”