Our increasingly reckless, exploitative and destructive relationship with nature has driven us to the point of climate and ecological emergency.
Human interferences such as deforestation, land use change and encroachment on wildlife habitats are taking many animal species to the brink of extinction. Biodiversity loss and the cruel trade in illegal wildlife also risk causing serious harm to human health.
This must stop now.
Putting an end to wildlife crime
Did you know that environmental crime is the fourth largest crime type in the world by value, after narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking?
Organised crime gangs see wildlife crime as a “high profit, low risk” opportunity. Money laundering linked to wildlife crime is rarely investigated or punished. It is estimated that every year between $91 and $258 billion worth of natural resources are stolen by criminals.
Criminal traffickers exploit vulnerabilities in the financial and transport sectors to move their products and the proceeds of their illegal trade across huge distances around the world.
Here at the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), we’ve long campaigned against forest crime and the illegal trade in endangered wildlife such as elephants, pangolins and tigers. We specialise in disrupting the criminal gangs behind this global trade by carrying out undercover investigations, working with national and international law enforcement agencies and lobbying for change.
Wildlife poaching on the rise
The illegal wildlife trade has continued during the pandemic, with a rise in illegal logging and wildlife poaching as protected areas were left exposed by reduced patrols and an absence of tourists.
Conversations between EIA undercover investigators and wildlife traffickers have revealed there are signs that large consignments of illicit wildlife products are on the move again.
What can we do?
The rampant exploitation of wildlife is having a devastating impact on global health, humanity and the planet.
We urgently need world leaders to come together to crack down on the illegal wildlife trade, pursue financial investigations to track the profits of environmental crime, and co-ordinate transnational law enforcement.
World leaders must work together.