In May 2013, the ISU organised a meeting of over 25 governments to address the Illegal Trade in Wildlife. HRH the Prince of Wales hosted the meeting, with Ministers from the UK Government, and The Duke of Cambridge. The outcome was a commitment to a Heads of State meeting in early 2014, the London Conference, which was subsequently hosted by the Prime Minister of the UK and addressed by HRH the Prince of Wales.
The ISU has continued to promote diplomatic efforts to combat the Illegal Trade in Wildlife, acting as a “Friend of the Chair” and as a member of the “Senior Officials Group” for the Kasane Conference in 2015, and the Hanoi Conference in Vietnam in 2016. These conferences were part of a series of formal follow-up meetings to the 2014 London Conference, inspired and informed by the work of HRH and the ISU. The Vietnam Conference elicited new and stronger commitments by governments and others, and subsequently signatories have stepped up their activities and increased their funding of efforts in this area. The ISU also worked with the Dutch Government to convene a high level international meeting in the Hague early in 2016.
The ISU will continue with an “active watching brief” through 2017, and will liaise with the UK Government and advise on the preparations for the next major international meeting on the illegal wildlife trade, due to take place in London in 2018.
Other recent activities include an ISU-led policy effort to develop ways in which the global financial system can deter illicit financial flows from the illegal wildlife trade.