Financial institutions

Illegal wildlife trade: UAE and UK launch toolkit to help financial institutions tackle illicit financial flows – News

The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest organized crime and costs $23 billion a year.

UK to UAE/Twitter


Published: Mon 7 Mar 2022, 1:17 PM

The UAE government has worked with the UK government to launch a toolkit to help financial institutions tackle illicit financial flows in the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT).

Ahmed Ali Al Sayegh, Minister of State of the United Arab Emirates, joined British Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon to launch the toolkit, which was launched at Expo 2020 Dubai to coincide with the Day of the United Nations for wildlife.

The toolkit provides key guidance for institutions in combating the illegal wildlife trade, from large institutions with large compliance departments to smaller institutions with less experience or fewer resources in combating this trade. .

In his remarks at the launch event, Al Sayegh noted: “The illegal wildlife trade constitutes an inherently important aspect of illicit financial flows. Partnership between the private and public sectors is key to mitigating and solving this global problem. That’s why I’m glad that the members of the UAE Public-Private Partnership Sub-Committee are endorsing the IWT Toolkit, which will mark another milestone in the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. »

For his part, the UK Minister of State for South and Central Asia said: “I am delighted to launch the UK-led IWT Financial Flows Toolkit in collaboration with the Government of the United Arab Emirates, TRAFFIC, WWF and Themis.The toolkit builds on the landmark partnership agreement between the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates to combat illicit financial flows and the growing cooperation between our public and private sectors to fight financial crime.Together we can fight organized crime gangs that loot and endanger our wildlife.

The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest organized crime after drugs, human trafficking and counterfeiting, costing $23 billion a year. Wildlife trafficking not only extinguishes endangered species and destabilizes ecosystems, it also fosters corruption and undermines livelihoods around the world.

According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), around 20,000 African elephants are killed by poachers every year, and rhino poaching has skyrocketed since 2007 with an average death rate of around 100 rhinos per month.

In recent years, the UAE and its international partners have advocated tougher action against those who engage in the illegal wildlife trade and promoted increased coordination across each country’s financial sector. Through public-private partnerships, information sharing and international cooperation, countries can establish a strong foundation to detect and address illicit money flows that negatively impact economies and the environment.

The toolkit has been developed with a focus on the Africa to Asia route and highlights the importance of public and private sector cooperation in global financial centers including the UAE, Hong Kong and Singapore, to combat this trade. The IWT Financial Flows Toolkit has been translated into Arabic and Mandarin by the Government of the United Arab Emirates and the Chinese office of TRAFFIC. It is accessible to