Targeting IFFs would make wildlife and environmental crimes high-risk, low profit undertakings, CITE’s chief tells FATF conference

Engaging in partnerships to bring together expertise in wildlife trade and money laundering is absolutely necessary to curb illicit financial flows (IFFs) associated with wildlife and other environmental crimes according to the secretary-general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ivonne Higuero.

Delivering a keynote address yesterday at the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) High-Level Conference 2021 in Germany, she said that targeting IFFs from these crimes would ensure that wildlife crime becomes a high-risk, low profit undertaking.

Money laundering and trade data

CITES priorities include combatting money laundering; corruption and wildlife crime linked to the internet; collecting and analysing annual illegal trade data to inform enforcement responses, and the use forensics in the fight against wildlife crime according to Higuero.

The convention is a legally binding multilateral agreement that sets rules for the international wildlife trade. It regulates international trade in more than 38,000 species of wild animals and plants, including their parts and derivatives. Its purpose is to ensure that this trade is legal, sustainable and traceable.

Strengthening collaboration

Higuero said CITES seeks to strengthen collaboration and enhance collective action and already works closely with the FATF, contributing to its various reports on addressing IFFs from environmental crime.

The convention also actively engages with the Egmont Centre of Financial Investigations Unit Excellence and Leadership and works in close collaboration with partners as part of the International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime.

The full text of Ivonne Higuero’s address at the FATF High-Level Conference 2021 can be found here.


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