World Leaders' Dialogues
The Nature of Crime – the extent and impact of illegal wildlife trade
November 17, 2014; 5:30 – 7:30pm
© Sue Mainka
Increasing consumption is depleting the Earth’s natural resources — the very foundation upon which human society depends — at an alarming rate. The commercial use of wild animals and plants, known as wildlife trade, is at the core of the tensions between biodiversity conservation and human development. According to TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network, illegal wildlife trade is estimated at US $10-20 billion annually, and is among the largest sources of illegal trade. This criminal activity is driving the extinction of many species, disrupting critical ecosystem functions, undermining sustainable economic development and threatening communities, livelihoods and human health. In recent years, the drivers of illegal wildlife trade have evolved significantly to include highly organized, transnational criminal networks. This World Leaders’ Dialogue will explore the causes and effects of illegal wildlife trade, and new approaches and investments to combat it. It will explore how the issue extends far beyond wildlife crime to include trade in forest, agricultural and fishing products, fuel and more.