Fighting illicit wildlife trafficking: A consultation with governments
Based on a series of interviews with government representatives and relevant international organizations, Dalberg Global Development Advisors concluded that: “The current global approach to fighting illicit wildlife trafficking is failing, contributing to the instability of society and threatening the existence of some illegally traded species.”
According to the report, illegal trade in wildlife, including timber and fish:
- Comprises the fourth largest global illegal trade after narcotics, counterfeiting of products and currency, and human trafficking, and is estimated to be worth at least US$19 billion per year;
- Is a lucrative business for criminal syndicates because the risk involved is low compared to other crimes and high profits can be generated;
- Hinders social and economic development, including potential economic loss for governments, and has direct consequences on rule of law, national and international security and the environment.
In their own words
“Wildlife crime is known to involve significant organized criminal networks that are engaged in a range of criminal activities. They are responsible for the corruption of officials, fraud, money laundering and violence, causing social unrest and undermining the rule of law and confidence in government institutions”
Tackling organized crimes such as illicit wildlife trafficking is essential to secure sustainable economic growth in Africa. It is then of paramount importance that national governments—and regional institutions such as my own—do everything they can to tackle illicit wildlife trafficking. Our approach to tackling illicit wildlife trafficking must be of a magnitude that matches its severity. That means attention from the highest levels of government.