The world’s top e-commerce, technology and social media companies are joining forces to put an end to the online illegal […]
The world’s top e-commerce, technology and social media companies are joining forces to put an end to the online illegal wildlife trade.
As members of the coalition, the companies pledge to work together and for each company to develop and implement policies to help end wildlife trafficking online.
Wildlife trafficking describes the poaching or other taking of protected or managed species, and the illegal trade in wildlife and their related parts and products.
Some of the most familiar instances of wildlife trafficking are the trade in elephant ivory, rhino horns, pangolin scales, coral jewelry, and exotic pets.
Wildlife trafficking also includes the trade in threatened species of plants (such as orchids) and timber (such as ebony). By some accounts, timber is “the most valuable wildlife commodity traded.”
In a historic movement 21 tech companies from North America, Asia, Europe, and Africa have come together as the first-ever Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online. As members of this coalition, tech companies pledge to work together to collectively reduce wildlife trafficking across platforms by 80% by 2020.
“Criminal groups and illegal traders are exploiting the technology to operate anonymously online with less chance of detection and to reach a wider market than ever before,” says Crawford Allan, the senior director of wildlife crime at the World Wildlife Fund and TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring organization. Law enforcement can’t police it all, he says. “The companies themselves were the obvious answer. If the companies can take down the ads before they’re even posted, we’re in good shape.”
The founding members of the Global Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online are Alibaba, Baidu, Baixing, eBay, Etsy, Facebook, Google, Huaxia Collection, Instagram, Kuaishou, Mall for Africa, Microsoft, Pinterest, Qyer, Ruby Lane, Shengshi Collection, Tencent, Wen Wan Tian Xia, Zhongyikupai, Zhuanzhuan and 58 Group, convened by WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW.