Wildlife Trafficking Funds Criminal Organizations and Social Instability

GMA 400L - Senior Seminar Research Lab

Illicit Wildlife Trafficking (IWT) been viewed through an environmental lens rather than a security lens for many years. This has allowed for increased rates of poaching and an unprecedented growth of IWT. This project asserts that IWT must be viewed through a security lens to improve global security. By showing a clear link between IWT and criminal organizations this thesis will shine a new light on the issue. An analysis of elephant and rhino populations throughout several regions in Africa will give a general ideal of the scope of the problem in Africa. This project acknowledges that Africa is not the only continent afflicted with IWT but points to Africa as a major case study in a very broad topic, that could not be avoided. The goal of this project is to shift the thinking of policy makers from an environmental stance to a security stance; it is also imperative that policy makers to combat IWT in source countries rather than destination countries by improving socioeconomic issues in source countries that could increase IWT.