UN "Wild for Life" campaign launched

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The UN is asking people to "go wild for wildlife" and use their own sphere of influence to help end the illegal trade in species.

The call comes ahead of World Environment Day (WED) observed annually on 5 June.

Smugglers and poachers are driving whole species to the brink of extinction.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Damage from the illicit trade in wildlife products has become so serious and so far reaching that urgent action is needed to reverse it, the head of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) said.

Species such as rhinos, tigers, gorillas, sea turtles and elephants have become endangered.

Wildlife crime is eroding our planet's biodiversity and undermining the natural systems upon which we all depend, Achim Steiner noted.

"It is spreading corruption and undermining the rule of law all around the world. And it is fattening the purses of international crime syndicates that have come to dominate this business. This must stop and the time to take action is long overdue."

The issue has risen to the top of the UN agenda and is enshrined in the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Mr Steiner said.

The "Wild for Life" campaign stresses that greed, fashion, ignorance, indifference, investment, corruption, pseudo-medicinal use and cultural belief should not result in threats to any species.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’06″

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