Photo credit: Ajani Francis/IPS

Wildlife trafficking is high on conservation and political agendas. It is also increasingly high on the global crime agenda. Rightly so: corruption was identified recently by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime as the main enabler of wildlife trafficking – one of the largest transnational criminal activities in the world. But not so long ago, one couldn’t even mention the word corruption in relation to conservation and wildlife crime; it was too sensitive. So it is an important development that for the first time, the issue of corruption will be formally debated at the world’s most important wildlife trade meeting – the 17th Conference of the Parties (CoP17) to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which starts on September 24th – where the European Union and Senegal put forward a resolution concerning measures to tackle corruption in wildlife trafficking. Yet corruption’s role in facilitating illicit wildlife trade is far from breaking news.

David Aled Williams

Principal Adviser (U4) and Senior Researcher (CMI)