Emirates NBD joins United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce
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Emirates NBD joins United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, supports fight against illegal wildlife trade

Emirates NBD joins United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, supports fight against illegal wildlife trade

The bank joins more than 50 global peers who are members of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, which is dedicated to stopping illicit financial flows associated with illegal wildlife trade

Neesha Salian
Emirates-NBD-Bank joins United for Wildlife financial taskforce

Emirates NBD is supporting efforts to fight global wildlife trafficking by becoming a member of the United for Wildlife (UfW) financial taskforce, which is committed to curbing illicit financial flows connected to illegal wildlife trade (IWT).

Illegal wildlife trade refers to the commerce of products that are derived from non-domesticated animals or plants, usually extracted from their natural environment or raised under controlled conditions. It is organised crime on a global scale, estimated to be worth up to $23bn annually.

The trade has grown substantially in recent years, with poaching rates for many species increasing, particularly those of high value to consumers. Illicit poaching and trafficking of wildlife continues to thwart conservation efforts worldwide, with nearly 7,000 species of animals and plants reported in illegal trade involving 120 countries.

The global banking system is a crucial medium for the transfer of illicit proceeds gained from illegal wildlife trade. Financial institutions risk acting as unwitting facilitators of the trade, with associated illicit financial flows continuing to move around the world through legitimate banking channels. Financial institutions can therefore play a crucial role in addressing IWT through ‘follow the money principles’ to seek to identify those that profit most from this crime.

Victor Matafonov, group chief compliance officer said: “Emirates NBD is proud to support the fight against illegal wildlife trade cause by joining the UfW Financial Taskforce. Aligned with the UAE government’s efforts to end illicit trade in endangered and exotic species, Emirates NBD will diligently work with its peers and other local and global organisations to promote the welfare and safety of wild animals, as part of the bank’s wider efforts to champion sustainability-related initiatives.”

Formed in October 2018, the UfW Financial Taskforce comprises circa 50 global financial institutions.

Several leading UAE companies have already taken measures to combat IWT by joining UfW; including those from the transport and financial sectors as well as non-governmental organisations. Over the years, several Dubai government entities have also initiated programmes to raise awareness and counter the illegal practice.

Emirates NBD’s move to join the UfW Financial Task Force is aligned with the bank’s commitment to supporting global and local sustainability-focused initiatives such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – specifically Goal 15, Life on Land – and the UAE Vision 2021, which aims to ensure sustainable development while preserving the environment.

In recent news, Emirates NBD has launched a global accelerator programme for metaverse startups to enhance customer experience. The programme positions the bank as a leader in the next phase of banking innovation in alignment with the Dubai Metaverse Strategy.

Read: Emirates NBD launches global accelerator programme for metaverse startups

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