£3.4 million in new projects to protect endangered species
Protected species across the globe including tigers, Asian elephants and chimpanzees have been given a boost today (Friday 22 May) as the government announces £3.4 million for new projects from the Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) Challenge Fund.
From today, the government is also inviting new projects to apply for the next round of funding.
The Illegal Wildlife Trade is a criminal industry worth more than £17 billion each year threatening wildlife, bringing species to the brink of extinction and causing despair for communities. The IWT Challenge Fund supports projects around the world that tackle the illegal wildlife trade by strengthening law enforcement, reducing demand for illegally traded wildlife products, and empowering people to shift away from trading illegal wildlife to more sustainable livelihoods.
The latest round of the Challenge Fund will fund important wildlife conservation projects across the globe, including five in Asia, two in Africa and South America respectively and one in Europe.
To date, the Challenge Fund has supported 85 projects to a value of more than £26 million.
International Environment Minister Lord Goldsmith said: "I am delighted to announce this latest boost to our IWT Challenge Fund on the International Day of Biological Diversity. Our fund is driving change to protect illegally trafficked wildlife across the globe. We are committed to taking global leadership to protect the world’s most endangered species. The illegal wildlife trade brings misery to local communities and holds back development in some of the world’s poorest countries, and today marks another milestone in helping to end this vile trade and protect these amazing species for future generations."