The Wildlife Justice Commission organised a hybrid event, focusing on promoting the effective use of the provisions under the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) on joint investigations and special investigative techniques to address environmental crimes and the corruption that enables them, on the sidelines of the 32nd Session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ).
About the Wildlife Justice Commission
The following short film explains how the Wildlife Justice Commission works, what type of organised criminal networks we investigate and why we do what we do. See Our Work.
Our mission is to disrupt and help dismantle the criminal networks that profit from the trafficking of wildlife, timber and fish, a major crime that brings species to extinction and puts global security and public health at risk.
The Wildlife Justice Commission publishes 2022 Annual Report
2022 was our most successful year since our founding in 2015. Our intelligence-led approach allowed us to secure major arrests in, amongst others, Nigeria, Mozambique and Thailand, to deepen our understanding of the criminal dynamics, and to share our expertise with law enforcement, policy makers, and practitioners across the globe.
Reflecting on 8 years of the Wildlife Justice Commission
This month marks our 8th anniversary. A good moment to reflect on how it all started in 2015: five staff members, one donor, two cases and an ambitious strategy to hold governments accountable for failing to address wildlife crime occurring in their own countries, through the mechanism of a Public Hearing in the City of Peace and Justice, The Hague.
Advocating for stronger anti-corruption frameworks to protect the environment and wildlife at the 20th IACC
Corruption is a key enabler of environmental crime, including wildlife crime, and the Wildlife Justice Commission is committed to promoting solutions to tackle corruption. We were present at the 20th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Washington DC and organised a workshop on behalf of the UNCAC Coalition’s Environmental Crime and Corruption Working Group.
To skin a cat:
how organised crime capitalises and exploits captive tiger facilities
operation in Nigeria
Rhino horn trafficking as a form of transnational organised crime
“Virtually every country in the world is somehow involved in wildlife trafficking, either as source, supply, transit or demand country. It is vital to recognise wildlife trafficking as transnational organised crime and that it should be addressed as such by law enforcement agencies worldwide. The Wildlife Justice Commission brings to the forefront the urgency for all governments to play their part in the fight against wildlife crime before vulnerable species are lost forever!”
Jane Goodall, PhD, DBE
Founder - the Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace
“The Wildlife Justice Commission has been of great help to us in Nigeria, developing the intelligence of customs officers, particularly building on what we had, but we did not know that we could use. And that has changed the story. We don’t stop at just making the arrests anymore. We now continue investigations, using the records to gather more intel and make further arrests. The WJC also assisted in how to build a good case file for prosecution, supported by strong evidence. Thanks to the WJC, we’ve been able to make numerous interceptions and secure convictions. And I can bet you we’ve only just started.”
Nigeria Customs Service
“The worst wildlife crimes are transnational in their context and those committing them act with impunity worldwide. Effective prevention and responses, therefore, should have a crucial transnational strategy and component. The Wildlife Justice Commission fulfils a fundamental function, contributing to the prevention of, and justice for, wildlife crimes.”
Former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
“The Wildlife Justice Commission has built perhaps the best intelligence and investigative capacity in relation to illegal wildlife trade in the world. It has been instrumental in the arrests of more than 40 wildlife criminals, most of them level 3 criminals or above; it is working with a wide range of law enforcement agencies and has helped improve the seriousness with which wildlife crime is taken in key trading and market countries such as Malaysia and Vietnam.”
External independent evaluation commissioned by the Adessium Foundation
“I was honored that the Wildlife Justice Commission selected me to present the results of its investigation during the 2016 Public Hearing in The Hague. I was delighted to learn that the Wildlife Justice Commission’s investigators had assembled an overwhelming case, with a meticulous and professional attention to detail. The Wildlife Justice Commission’s collection of evidence was as thorough and as well-presented as any I received while serving as a federal prosecutor at the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”
Partner at Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer
“The Wildlife Justice Commission in The Hague, which maintains a remarkable intelligence network tracking the trade, has warned that criminals are stockpiling material and that lockdown is allowing poachers in sub-Saharan Africa a free rein. There is an overwhelming moral and environmental case for a multilateral effort to stifle this business. It is also worth remembering that Ebola, HIV, Sars, H1N1, Mers and Sars-CoV-2 are all reportedly zoonotic diseases, which jumped species because of intense proximity between humans and the original carriers. We must now recognise a hitherto relatively unimportant branch of organised criminal activity has the capacity to bring the entire world to a standstill.” Article published in The Guardian, 7 June 2020
Award-winning journalist, historian and author.
“One may consider illegal wildlife trade a soft underbelly of organised crime, but the network and associated cells perpetrating illegal wildlife trade are hard criminals. The intelligence collected and collated by the Wildlife Justice Commission therefore can be very useful to Law Enforcement Agencies in their investigations into other organised crimes and vice versa.”
Former Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations) of the Hong Kong Police
“The activities of the Wildlife Justice Commission were a true revelation to me: innovative, focussed, daring, well-documented, alerting and mobilizing at the right time the official authorities. This approach has proved very successful. Supporting the Wildlife Justice Commission’s activities is a must for whoever is interested in fighting wildlife crime and protecting the planet for future generations.”
Dr. A.H.E.M. ‘Nout’ Wellink
Former President of the Dutch Central Bank
“[The Wildlife Justice Commission] has unquestionably been able to disrupt criminal networks involved in wildlife crime to an extent never done by an NGO before.”
Excerpt from 2022 external independent evaluation report commissioned by WWF Netherlands
“As the Wildlife Justice Commission says, it takes a network to defeat a network. Wildlife crime – where plants and animals are traded illegally – often overlaps with more widely known forms of organised crime. With the right partnerships and expertise, these networks can be obstructed. We are delighted to support the Wildlife Justice Commission’s efforts to protect biodiversity and empower those who are on the frontline tackling wildlife crime.”
Dr Simon Chaplin
Chief Executive Officer, Arcadia – a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing and Peter Baldwin
“Oak Foundation is proud to continue providing core support to the Wildlife Justice Commission in its fight against transnational organised wildlife crime. We believe the work of the Wildlife Justice Commission is tremendously important in protecting our planet’s biodiversity. This is a critical component in countering climate change. It is time to act now.”
Trustee at Oak Foundation
“Perhaps most important of all, [the Wildlife Justice Commission] WJC has opened the eyes of many enforcement agencies to the value of intelligence and has inspired and encouraged them to build their own intelligence databases and analytical capacity.”
Excerpt from 2022 external independent evaluation report commissioned by WWF Netherlands
“In recent years WJC has had a significant impact on wildlife crime investigations in Vietnam, in an atmosphere where wildlife crime is taken much more seriously by the Vietnam Government. WJC’s capacity on intelligence analysis is highly relevant in the wildlife crime space, is welcomed by a number of enforcement agencies, particularly, Vietnam and Thailand, and has had a strong inputs to the wildlife crime capabilities of enforcement agencies in those countries.”
Regional Lead for Wildlife and Wildlife Crime, WWF Greater Mekong
“I am always thrilled to learn about the brilliant activities of the Wildlife Justice Commission. We should encourage watchful and dedicated leaders and actors to always deter organized wildlife crimes, as the Commission will continue its mission from now into the future as a giant step forward in the global fight for wildlife justice.”
Judge Sang-Hyun Song
President of UNICEF Korea, former President and Judge of the Appeals Chamber of the International Criminal Court
Our work is only possible with support from partners and donors