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UK aid to protect endangered wildlife and create thousands of sustainable jobs

UK aid will protect critically endangered wildlife in Indonesia and Liberia by creating sustainable jobs for people who work near these animal’s habitats.

  • UK aid to protect endangered Sumatran tiger, with only around 30 left in one critical habitat
  • Partnership work in Indonesia will help create 16,000 sustainable jobs
  • UK aid has a unique role to play in tackling the underlying causes of the illegal wildlife trade, while protecting the livelihoods of local communities.

UK aid will protect critically endangered wildlife in Indonesia and Liberia by creating sustainable jobs for people who work near these animal’s habitats, International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced today ahead of next month’s Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference.

On a visit to the ZSL, London Zoo – which is leading the global Sumatran Tiger breeding programme – Ms Mordaunt committed to tackle the underlying causes of the Illegal Wildlife Trade and to protect species including the critically endangered Sumatran Tiger, Asian Elephant, Orangutan and West African Chimpanzee.

UK aid, through the Partnerships For Forests programme, is helping to create sustainable jobs and livelihoods for local communities in Africa and Southeast Asia. This provides communities with an alternative to clearing forest or hunting wildlife to make a living, and ensures that vital forest habitat for wildlife is protected. This is essential for the long-term survival of key wildlife species like the chimpanzee and the tiger.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said:

“The Illegal Wildlife Trade and the destruction of forests and natural habitats are having a catastrophic impact on both iconic wildlife and the world’s poorest people.

“Nobody wants to see extraordinary species become extinct, or the communities living near their habitats struggle for jobs and livelihoods, which is why UK aid has a unique role to play in tackling the underlying causes driving these problems, namely poverty and rapid, unmanaged deforestation.

“It’s only by working together with local communities that we will preserve endangered wildlife like the Sumatran Tiger, and protect them for future generations.”

Chief Executive at WWF Tanya Steele said:

“We don’t have to choose between helping people and saving our wildlife.

“Projects like this show UK aid can be used to help the world’s poorest people and save some of our most threatened species, like the Sumatran tiger and Sumatran elephant.

“Next month, world leaders are meeting in London to find ways to stop the illegal wildlife trade. That will only succeed if local communities are part of the solution not the problem.”

Dominic Jermey, Director General of ZSL, London Zoo said:

“As an international conservation charity, ZSL welcomes DFID’s increased focus on protecting critically endangered wildlife, tackling the illegal wildlife trade and supporting marginalised communities.

“ZSL’s own work in Indonesia with flagship species such as the tiger and its habitat enable us to address critical threats such as forest loss, mitigating forest fires and IWT.

“ZSL works closely with local communities; we help to empower them in managing their natural resources; and we ensure they have a voice in decision making to support their economic resilience.”

The Department for International Development (DFID), is part of a ground-breaking public-private partnership to protect chimpanzee habitats in Liberia and tiger habitats in Indonesia, through investments to develop sustainable rubber and cocoa. The project will help to create an estimated 16,000 fair wage jobs and in turn improve the livelihoods of 50,000 people. These jobs bring benefits to entire households and their dependants arising through the investment in the area.

The range of support demonstrates, ahead of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Conference in October, DFID’s unique place in addressing the underlying causes of Illegal Wildlife Trade and the UK’s role as a world leader in supporting global biodiversity.

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