TRAFFIC - WWF & IUCN Initiative

TRAFFIC, the Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network founded in 1976 is headquartered in the United Kingdom. It is established as a joint initiative by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

International organizations and their various initiatives are significant topics for UPSC preparation. In this article, the candidates can read about an organization that monitors wildlife trade – TRAFFIC which will be helpful for the Civil Services Examination.

This article provides relevant information for the environment section of both UPSC Prelims and Mains. To know more about the UPSC syllabus, check the linked article.

To fetch more relevant information, the aspirants can visit the related links provided below for their upcoming exam preparation:

Facts about TRAFFIC for UPSC

Brief facts of TRAFFIC for UPSC
When was it formed? 1976
Where is the headquarters of TRAFFIC located? Cambridge, United Kingdom
TRAFFIC is a strategic alliance of which two international bodies? WWF and IUCN
What is the full form of TRAFFIC? Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce

What does TRAFFIC stand for wildlife?

TRAFFIC is a leading non-governmental organization and a global specialist in the field of biodiversity conservation and sustainable development, closely working on trade in wild fauna and flora. It is recognized globally for the reliable information provided on wildlife trade and conservation.

Since its formation in 1976, the responsibilities of TRAFFIC included data collection, analysis, and providing recommendations related to wildlife trade. Being a leader in wildlife trade research for over 40 years, TRAFFIC became an independent non-profit organization in 2017. Therefore, the organization consists of its independent Board members along with the Board of Directors from WWF and IUCN.

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Mission of TRAFFIC

To ensure that trade in wild animals and plants is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Conservation Strategy followed by TRAFFIC:

  • To collect reliable information on trade in wild animals and plants by investigating and analysing the wildlife trade patterns, their impacts, and drivers.
  • To encourage governments to adopt, implement and enforce constructive policies both at the national and international levels.
  • To provide appropriate guidance to the private sector on adapting effective and sustainable approaches while sourcing wildlife.
  • To create awareness and influence consumer choices to incline towards sustainable choices and aimed to dissuade the purchasing of illicit wildlife goods.

The conservation projects of TRAFFIC mainly focus on:

  1. Enhancing the benefits from sustainable and legal trade in wildlife resources by increasing incentives for businesses, communities, and consumers to engage in responsible trade practices.
  2. Reducing wildlife crime and illegal trade that is driving the poaching crisis.

TRAFFIC and CITES

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) is the main international agreement that is responsible for regulating international trade in wild animals and plants. Across the globe, currently, 183 governments have signed the agreement with CITES to ensure that trade in wildlife species doesn’t cause a survival threat.

About CITES

  • Conceptualized in 1963 at a meeting of IUCN
  • Formed in 1975
  • Location – Geneva, Switzerland
  • Administered by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) wing.
  • Aim – To ensure that international trade in wildlife species doesn’t threaten their survival.

Aspirants can read more about CITES for their UPSC preparation from the linked article.

Since the establishment of TRAFFIC, enforcement of CITES and its principles has been its foremost priority. TRAFFIC shares its trade information with CITES for their decision-making process through the Elephant Trade Information System – to make sure that the international trade in wildlife species remains at sustainable levels.

Significance of TRAFFIC

The overexploitation of wildlife species is caused by the trade in wild animals and plants and is considered the second most indicative cause for biodiversity loss globally. Over the past 50 years, efforts have been taken to prevent biodiversity loss, especially under the auspices of CITES. On the contrary, during the same period, as an effect of globalization, population, and economic growth, demand for wildlife products and market access for those commodities increased substantially. In this scenario, it is highly important to tackle the over-exploitation of wildlife species and take efforts to reduce harmful wildlife trade. Meanwhile, TRAFFIC has been making significant contributions towards the conservation of wildlife, reducing the illegal wildlife trade, and aspiring to attain sustainable levels in wildlife trade.

List of Important Projects of TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC works on many projects, and a few among those are listed below:

  1. Reducing trade threats to Africa’s wild species and ecosystems through strengthened knowledge and action in Africa and beyond (ReTTA).
  2. Wildlife Trafficking Response, Assessment, and Priority Setting (Wildlife-TRAPS) – This project aims in protecting global biodiversity and tackling wildlife trafficking between Africa and Asia.
  3. The Global Shark and Ray Initiative – joint exercise between TRAFFIC and various partners to secure the future of oceans.
  4. The FairWild Foundation – guides businesses in promoting the ethical and sustainable use of wild collected plant ingredients in trade.

The above-mentioned information will be helpful for various competitive examinations, including the IAS Exam.

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