Every year, millions of animals are killed to support the $23 billion illegal wildlife trade. Precious materials from elephants, pangolins, rhinos, turtles, and tigers attract poachers that decimate their populations to feed this greedy industry, and stopping it becomes a bigger challenge by the day. It may seem a daunting problem to solve, but there are people fighting the good fight to put a stop to it.
The one-year anniversary of the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online (the Coalition) was celebrated in China this week during an event themed under “Protecting Wildlife with Technology”.
A total of 32 internet companies from China and other countries attended the event which presented an opportunity to assess the performance and impacts achieved by the Coalition thus far. Participants also discussed how global e-commerce, technology, and social media companies effectively prevent and combat illegal wildlife trade on their channels.
Meanwhile, an additional eight internet companies joined the Coalition to commit to reducing illegal wildlife trade in their platforms by implementing individual action plans.
This month marks 10 years since eBay introduced a global ivory ban across its platforms to help protect elephants.
eBay's ivory ban, combined with their Animal and Wildlife Products Policy and with support from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and other NGOs, has seen well over 100,000 prohibited wildlife listings blocked or removed in 2017 and 2018 alone.
"We congratulate eBay on blocking or removing over 100,000 listings of prohibited wildlife products," said Tania McCrea-Steele, International Project Manager for Wildlife Crime at IFAW. "Partnering with eBay shows that we can have real and significant impact in detecting and deterring wildlife traffickers. Supporting companies in the fight against wildlife cybercrime means we can scale up our approach, reaching a vast number of wildlife traders and making them aware of the need to protect wildlife and the penalties that they will incur if they engage in trafficking."