Illegal wildlife poaching and trafficking has destabilized local communities and devastated elephant, rhino, and endangered species populations across Africa. In the last decade, over half of Africa’s elephants have been killed for their ivory. High demand for wildlife products in Asia has driven this surge in poaching and trafficking, threatening the future of these species. Some experts have warned that rhinos and elephants could face near extinction by 2030. Illegal trade in protected wildlife is worth an estimated $7 to $10 billion.

This figure places wildlife trafficking among the most lucrative criminal activities worldwide, rivaling the illegal trade in drugs and arms in size and scope. Wildlife trafficking is known to provide funding to deadly terrorist organizations, such as al-Shabaab and the Lord’s Resistance Army. In the last several years, however, the international community has begun to take meaningful steps toward breaking this trend through financial support, diplomatic pressure, and policy initiatives. The United States, with support from Congress, has been at the forefront of this push, through legislation like the Congo Basin Forest Partnership Act of 2004 and the END Wildlife Trafficking Act of 2016. 

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed key successes, challenges, and next steps for U.S. policymakers.

Speakers

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) 
U.S. Representative from California
@RepEdRoyce

Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) 
U.S. Senator from Delaware
@ChrisCoons

Nancy Lindborg
President, U.S. Institute of Peace
@nancylindborg

Related Publications

The Ukraine War is Deepening Global Food Insecurity — What Can Be Done?

The Ukraine War is Deepening Global Food Insecurity — What Can Be Done?

Monday, May 16, 2022

By: Dr. Arif Husain

Even before Russia invaded Ukraine, the global economy was suffering from the repercussions of several man-made conflicts, climate shocks, COVID-19 and rising costs — with devastating consequences for poor people in low-income and developing countries. The war in Ukraine — a major “breadbasket” for the world — is deepening these challenges on an unprecedented scale. In the immediate, swift and bold action is required by both wealthy and low-income nations to avert further humanitarian and economic catastrophe.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsEnvironmentGlobal HealthHuman Rights

Bangladesh’s Balancing Act Amid the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

Bangladesh’s Balancing Act Amid the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy

Friday, April 1, 2022

By: Anu Anwar;  Geoffrey Macdonald;  Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Jumaina Siddiqui

As the Biden administration implements its new Indo-Pacific strategy, Bangladesh’s relationships with neighboring India and China are drawing renewed interest from U.S. policymakers. U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland visited Dhaka in late March and signed a draft defense cooperation agreement; last year, Special President Envoy for Climate John Kerry also went to Dhaka in advance of the Leaders’ Summit on Climate. At the same time, Washington retains concerns over democratic backsliding, human rights abuses and constraints on free and open electoral competition in the country. Experts Anu Anwar, Geoffrey Macdonald, Daniel Markey and Jumaina Siddiqui assess the factors shaping Bangladesh’s relations with its neighbors and the United States.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsEnvironmentGlobal Policy

On Climate: To Save the Human Planet, Ally with Human Faith

On Climate: To Save the Human Planet, Ally with Human Faith

Thursday, March 24, 2022

By: Tegan Blaine, Ph.D.;  Chris Collins;  Mona Hein;  Palwasha L. Kakar

Humanity’s preservation of a habitable planet now requires policymakers, environmentalists and others to rally billions of people in resisting climate change through a painful remaking of our very economies and societies. Our struggle to build this unprecedented global commitment — notably against headwinds of pandemics, poverty and wars — urgently requires that we build partnership and synergy with a powerful group of allies: religious communities.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

EconomicsEnvironmentReligion

View All Publications