The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime located in Austria at the Vienna International Centre informed of the release of the ‘Guidelines on methods and procedures for ivory sampling and laboratory analysis’ , within the framework of the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC). The document can be viewed and downloaded through the UNODC website here.
“We believe that the use of the Guidelines will support more timely, thorough and effective investigations, resulting in an increased number of successful prosecutions and a reduction in this illegal trade” said UNODC’s Executive Director Yury Fedotov.
Davyth Stewart, Criminal Intelligence Officer with INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Unit, explained that “these guidelines cover the whole chain of custody, from supporting law enforcement officers on the ground with collecting samples for forensic analysis and crime scene management, to laboratory analysis, interpretation of results and data handling. This is crucial for building the evidence base to prevent and combat ivory trafficking and a step forward in advancing law enforcement actions against illegal elephant poaching”.
Dr. Dietrich Jelden of the German Federal Office for Nature Conservation (BfN) thanked the CIC International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and Dr. Rolf Baldus, a co-editor of African Indaba and CIC member, for their strong commitment and assistance to provide the material for the scientific work which formed a basis for these guidelines.
African Indaba has been involved in this project since its initiation, when we issued a call for action titled “Small Atoms Can Help Saving Big Elephants” in the January – February 2011 Volume 9-1 which stated that “In a cooperation between the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF), the International Centre of Ivory Studies (INCENTIVS) of the University of Mainz, the University of Regensburg (Germany), the German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (CIC), scientists are developing a reference database for the geographical origin of African elephant ivory and a precise method on how to designate the age of ivory tusks. The project is part of Germany’s contribution for the implementation of the African Elephant Action Plan, in particular strategy 1.4, i.e. ‘Strengthen the enforcement of laws relevant to conservation and management of African elephants’. Hence the project will make a useful contribution to the fight against the illegal trade in ivory and furthermore will enable the range states to better control the legal ivory trade under CITES.”
UNODC Report Addresses Ivory Trade In Eastern Africa, September 2013, Volume 11-4
Tooth For A Tooth: With Forensics Methods On The Track Of Ivory, February 2013, Volume 11-1
Source: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime