TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network and Alibaba Group, a leading online and mobile commerce company have signed a strategic pact to combat illegal wildlife trade online.
On October 14th at the corporate campus of Alibaba Group in Hangzhou, China, the organizations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to address the illegal sale of wildlife on the Internet.
Under the MoU, the two organisations will co-operate to reduce illegal wildlife trade. They have both pledge zero tolerance towards the listing and sales of illegal wildlife products online and will jointly work to educate consumers.
According to TRAFFIC statistics, there are only an estimated 3,200 tigers left in the wild, a population decline of almost 97% since the 1900s. TRAFFIC’s analysis also shows that illegal rhino horn trade has now reached the highest levels since the early 1990s, exceeding 1,000 animals in 2013.
“Alibaba Group has and will continue to work towards combating illegal wildlife trade over our platforms and is pleased to engage in this extremely meaningful collaboration with TRAFFIC; we welcome co-operation with other partners to explore innovative ways to jointly protect endangered species and also call on our employees, customers and industry peers to work towards reducing the demand for endangered wildlife products and proactively adopt socially responsible policies that drive sustainable development,” said Yu Weimin, Vice President of Internet Security, Alibaba Group.
“Convincing action to ‘starve the supply’ of and reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products into the online market is critical if we are to succeed in conserving some of our most charismatic wild species. In this, we are delighted to have Alibaba Group as a partner and are certain the example they set will inspire positive behavioural change,” said Steven Broad, Executive Director of TRAFFIC.
Also, the organizations will carry out online monitoring and information sharing to enable effective action to reduce illegal wildlife products entering the e-commerce market, under the MoU.
TRAFFIC will provide training and technical support to help Alibaba Group’s staff build the capacity to identify illegal wildlife products offered for sale online. Creative messaging will be developed and distributed through online ads, apps and social media channels, to influence both buyers and sellers to reject illicit trade in wildlife parts and products.