WWF Statement: UN Security Council Links DRC Conflict to Illegal Wildlife Trafficking

Today, the United Nation Security Council took measures to address the link between conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to illegal wildlife trafficking. The Security Council renewed its DRC and CAR sanctions to target individuals and entities that illegally support armed groups through illicit trade of natural resources, including wildlife products, such as elephant ivory.

“This will help disrupt poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking in the DRC and around the world. The Security Council’s bold decision to tackle this issue will help curtail the illicit criminal activity that is fueling the DRC’s conflict and at the same time have an impact on the ground for the people of the DRC and wildlife,” said Allard Blom, Managing Director of Congo Basin, World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

This is a unique sanction that holds a lot of promise in that it will not only work to strengthen wildlife conservation, but also reduce human suffering and create conditions of peace and security.”

Earlier in the week, the Security Council passed a separate sanction for Central African Republic (CAR) that also targets individuals in the exploitation of wildlife and wildlife products. Over 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory tusks, with much of the killing occurring in conflict zones in Central Africa, including the DRC and CAR. With mounting evidence that the proceeds from poaching and illegal wildlife trafficking being used to finance armed groups, the resolutions on the DRC and CAR designate illegal wildlife trafficking as a crucial factor to be considered when targeting future sanctions.

View the full CAR resolution here.