BEIJING, February 17 –The London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, hosted by the British government, was held on February 12-13, and Zhang Jianlong, deputy administrator of the State Forestry Administration , led the Chinese government delegation to the meeting. The conference adopted the Declaration of London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, which made a solemn political commitment by categorizing illegal trade in wild animals and plants as “serious crimes.”
Zhang Jianlong expounded China’s efforts in the protection of wildlife and achievements. China made arduous efforts in cracking down illegal trade in wildlife, took part in international cooperation, organized and carried the “Cobra Action” for cross-border crackdown on illegal trade in wildlife, and provided funding for the protection of endangered species such as elephants.
At the conference, Zhang put forward four proposals for international cooperation in stamping out illegal trade in wildlife: strengthening law enforcement cooperation to smash all links in the illegal trade, from trafficking, cross-border transport to illegal processing and sale; giving priority to international cooperation mechanism on the basis of respecting each country’s law enforcement system; the developed countries and the international community should take concrete actions to support the developing countries in protecting and managing the wildlife habitats and to assist them to improve their law enforcement capacity; and strengthening publicity and public education to voluntarily say no to such illegal trade, and preventing and checking distorted and exaggerated market information that might further encourage illegal hunting of wildlife.
During the conference, Zhang met officials from Britain and international organizations, including British environmental official, and had in-depth discussions with them.
The conference was aimed at checking the growing and rampant illegal trading activities in wildlife. Participants agreed that illegal trade in wildlife posed serious threat to the economy, society and environment, and has become a transnational criminal activity. The massive illegal trade not only had negative impact on countries’ regional and global security, but also constituted an environmental and ecological issue, even political and diplomatic issue.
The Declaration of London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade adopted at the conference is a political commitment. It made illegal trade in wildlife a serious crime, and vowed to take a series of practical and effective actions to outlaw illegal trading markets of wildlife and their products, improve the legislative system and law enforcement efficiency, improve people’s livelihood and promote the sustainable development of the economy.
The conference decided to hold a high-level conference in Botswana in 2015 to assess the progress and implementation of the declaration.
About 200 people from 46 countries and 11 intergovernmental organizations attended the conference, including presidents from Botswana, Tanzania, Gabon and Chad. The conference was chaired by British Foreign Secretary William Hague, and the Prince of Wales attended the conference and delivered a speech.