Our Impact

In 2015, we had a powerful new idea. Today we know it works.

The Wildlife Justice Commission stands at the forefront of combating wildlife crime, taking a holistic approach that not only addresses immediate threats to biodiversity but also aims for long-lasting systemic change. Our approach is two-fold: it involves enhancing the capability of local law enforcement while building political will at the highest level for governments to address wildlife crime as serious organised crime. This strategy combines a bottom-up and top-down approach, effectively addressing the issue at every level for lasting impact.

These efforts led to significant achievements in just nine years of our existence. In the period between 2015 and 2023, we conducted 34 investigations throughout Asia, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, resulting in the dismantling of over 57 criminal networks, and the arrest of over 233 suspects, achieving a 100% conviction rate for cases that have been finalised in court. Furthermore, our work helped save over 10,000 live animals from the live pet trade.

Moreover, since our establishment in 2015, we published 19 public reports. These reports not only contribute to academic discourse, with over 30 citations in articles, books, and reports by the United Nations (UN) and other international organisations but also play a pivotal role in shaping policy. In 2021, the Wildlife Justice Commission pioneered work in highlighting the critical issue of crime convergence within the context of wildlife crime. Our early contributions laid the foundation for increased attention and awareness of the issue, prompting commitments to address wildlife crime convergence within the international policy framework.

A notable achievement of our recent efforts has been the significant expansion of our capacity-building initiatives for law enforcement agencies. We have successfully conducted specialised intelligence and investigations training, complemented by a mentoring program, in seven countries. This approach has yielded remarkable outcomes, such as the arrests of high-level wildlife traffickers, particularly in countries like Thailand and Mozambique.

Our work in building political will has also intensified. In the period from 2016 to 2023, we have been actively involved in organising and participating in over 60 events and webinars, including 32 multilateral conferences at the intersection of the environment and criminal justice. Since 2022, we have also contributed to 13 high-level policy documents, advocating for change at platforms including the UN General Assembly, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ), the Conference of the State Parties to the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC), and the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC).

Our long-term impact since our inception has been transformative. Through these concerted efforts and in partnership with others, we have contributed to altering the perception of wildlife crime, transitioning it from a low-risk, high-reward industry to one where the risks outweigh the benefits. This shift is evident in the operations of criminal networks and the increase in political will, with a growing recognition of the urgency to address wildlife crime.

Our impact in 2023

  • Our work contributed to the arrests of 26 high-level suspected traffickers and the disruption of at least 10 criminal networks in six countries
  • We provided investigative and intelligence support to 19 law enforcement agencies across the globe
  • Following our ongoing successful partnership with the Nigeria Customs Service, the trafficking of pangolin scales and ivory in Nigeria reached its lowest level in five years
  • We provided tailored training courses for law enforcement agencies and continued training intelligence analysts to support the fight against wildlife crime in Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam under our Galvanise Project
  • We supported the refurbishment of the Control Centre of the Serviço Nacional de Investigação Criminal (SERNIC) in Mozambique
  • We strengthened our capabilities to influence policies that will prioritise the fight against wildlife crime, fostering public engagement through our participation in 16 events and conferences and contributing to 8 policy documents
  • We played an active role in various alliances to facilitate strategic coordination among civil society actors in targeting key stakeholders to influence policy and build political will
  • We further expanded our network of allies and partners so our work can make an even greater impact
  • We also broadened our global reach and established a presence in the United States of America and in Thailand

2023 was an outstanding year for the Wildlife Justice Commission, marked by significant achievements. Our unwavering commitment to disrupt and help dismantle transnational criminal networks involved in wildlife trafficking led to notable successes in countries such as Nigeria, Mozambique, Indonesia, and Malaysia, where we played a crucial role in facilitating substantial arrests.

Have a look at our highlights in 2023