As we approach World Rhino Day tomorrow, I would like to highlight the threat to rhinos from transnational organised criminal networks and to recognise the progress that has been made in the fight against rhino horn trafficking over the past few years. While rhinos still face a number of threats, there is hope on the horizon.
Last week, in Port Klang, Malaysia, the Wildlife Justice Commission supported the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in an operation targeting corrupt customs and other members of an international wildlife trafficking network with the support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Thailand.
Today, the Wildlife Justice Commission published a new report focusing on the role of corruption as one of the most important enabling factors behind wildlife crime, in an attempt to bring more clarity to this murky subject. Corruption is the air that wildlife crime breathes; it is one of the key enablers of widespread and large-scale wildlife trafficking and one of the biggest obstacles to effective law enforcement.
Since the creation of the Wildlife Justice Commission in 2015, a constant that has been observed in all intelligence-led investigations into wildlife trafficking across the globe is the role of corruption in enabling this form of organised crime. Corruption is the air that wildlife crime breathes; it is one of the key enablers of widespread and large-scale wildlife trafficking and one of the biggest obstacles to effective law enforcement.
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.
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 effectively disrupt and dismantle organised environmental crime, it is important to target the systemic corruption enabling it. This was the main conclusion of a recent three-part webinar series, organised by the Wildlife Justice Commission and the International Anti-Corruption Academy.
Environmental crimes facilitated by corruption have far-reaching impacts on society. The Wildlife Justice Commission and the International Anti-Corruption Academy will host a series of panel discussions to build greater understanding of this nexus and how to effectively address it.
The Wildlife Justice Commission recently participated in an official UNGASS 2021 online side event, Leveraging the best tools to address environmental crime enabled by corruption.
At the 14th UN Crime Congress, the Wildlife Justice Commission will highlight the urgency to tackle wildlife trafficking as what it is: transnational organised crime.
Debate on practical measures to address wildlife crime and the corruption that enables it at our event at the UN Headquarters.
The report details our Operation Dragon, a 2-year investigation (2016-2018) into the multi-million-dollar illegal trade of endangered reptile species in South and Southeast Asia and the scale of the corruption that enables it.