Illegal export of fauna on the increase | Sunday Observer

Illegal export of fauna on the increase

17 March, 2019

While the illegal wildlife trade is the most lucrative criminal trade, illegal exports of fauna (animals) show a significant increase in the recent past, it was revealed at an international symposium, Global Dialogue on Wildlife Trafficking 2019, last week. Jointly organised by the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), the University of Colombo, CITES CoP 18 Secretariat and the Environment Foundation Ltd., the scientific symposium was held at the Colombo University on Friday, March 15.

Presenting a paper themed ‘Trends in Transnational Illegal Trade of Wild Fauna: The Sri Lankan Context’, researchers Dhanushri L. Munasinghe, Samantha Gunasekara, Dhanushi Rupasinghe and Enoka P. Kudavidanage who had analysed the trends in illegal trade of wildlife in Sri Lanka during the past 25 years (from 1992 to 2017), revealed that they had detected that illegal exports show a significantly increasing trend accounting for 68 percent of illegal trade involving 41 countries while illegal imports showed a decreasing trend accounting for 30 percent of illegal trade involving 20 countries.

With respect to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the detected illegal export records were associated with 7.4 percent globally threatened, 29.3 percent nationally protected and 15.3 percent of CITES listed species. Fourteen more scientific papers were presented at the symposium.

Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ravinatha Ariyasinghe delivering the key note address noted that symposia of this kind help junior academics become cutting edge academics. “It is through this, that Sri Lanka would stay relevant in the international community,” he said.