Wildlife and forest crime debated at UN Congress in Doha

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UN Photo/David Davis

Wildlife and forest crime deserves prompt attention from governments and civil society worldwide.

That's according to top UN officials attending the 13th Crime Congress on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Doha, Qatar.

These crimes are reportedly part of a rapidly growing industry and yield enormous profits for criminal networks.

Stephanie Coutrix reports.

Wild forests are disappearing at an alarming rate, jeopardizing local people's livelihoods and leading to serious environmental consequences.

Speaking at the event on wildlife and forest crime, the President of the UN General Assembly, Sam Kutesa said that the 13th Crime Congress would not be complete without discussions on this subject.

He added that wildlife and forest crimes have very far reaching implications.

Mr Kutesa explained they have the potential to undermine the socio political and economic wellbeing of societies, while generating billions of dollars for criminal gangs and sustaining their illicit activities.

The UN estimates that in 2013 alone, some 20,000 elephants and more than 1,000 rhinos were slaughtered.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, Yury Fedotov, said the UN is conducting a global study on wildlife crime and its findings will be published at the end of 2015.

Stephanie Coutrix, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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