George Freeman questions Government on illegal wildlife trade

30th October 2018

George Freeman asks the Foreign and Commonwealth Office what efforts are being made by the UK Government and international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade and about creating mutual economic interest for local tribespeople and farmers to support wildlife.

 

Illegal Wildlife Trade

9. What steps the Government are taking with international partners to tackle the illegal wildlife trade. [907351]

Earlier this month, London hosted the largest ever illegal wildlife trade conference, with representation from more than 70 countries and 400 organisations. Ministers from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Department for International Development announced additional support for developing countries to tackle IWT. I pay tribute my right hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Boris Johnson) and my hon. Friend the Member for Richmond Park (Zac Goldsmith) for all the work that they have done and continue to do to advance this agenda.

I congratulate and thank the Ministers for what they are doing to tackle this appalling trade. Does he agree that one of the most important aspects of tackling it is to create mutual economic interest for local tribespeople and farmers to support wildlife? Does he support the work of the excellent Laikipia Wildlife Forum in Kenya, which was set up by the great British conservationist Dr Anthony King?

I thank my hon. Friend for his comments. A Chatham House study presented at the London conference on transboundary green corridors supported the view that the creation of jobs and local prosperity partnerships can indeed help to protect endangered species. That is why we secured an uplift of some £6 million for the IWT challenge fund, and why DFID is committed to further such work to address these issues.