The PEGAS Project Manager attended the first United Nations Environment Assembly at the UNEP headquarters in Gigiri in late June. What previously was known as the Governing Council, which the Project Manager remembers well from his days as a staff member of UNEP in the 1980s and consultant in the 1990s, has grown considerably from a gathering mainly of Permanent Representatives and United Nations organizations into a full-blown global forum bringing together various government, IGO, NGO and civil society stakeholders. Wildlife and natural resource trafficking was a main consideration of this Environment Assembly. A UNEP-INTERPOL Rapid Response Assessment on Environmental Crime was released.
The PEGAS Project Manager liaised with many of the assembly participants to introduce the new PEGAS initiative to them and raise the profile of great ape trafficking, which remains a largely ignored issue when compared to elephant, rhino and big cat poaching and illegal trade.