Killing Animals, Buying Arms


"Killing Animals, Buying Arms: Setting the Stage for Collaborative Solutions to Poaching + Wildlife Crime," outlines a path forward to combat the serious threat posed by poaching and wildlife crime to international security and economic development. The report, written by Johan Bergenas, deputy director of the Managing Across Boundaries Initiative, is based on ongoing work that Stimson is conducting in East Africa on a wide range of transnational security challenges. To download a PDF of this report, click on the link to the right.

This report offers the following recommendations:

-- Launching programs in partnership with regional actors against poaching and other wildlife crime, along with improved coordination of U.S. and international security and development assistance.

-- Improving cooperation and coordination between government agencies and groups focused on conservation, development and security to fight poaching and wildlife crime. "New partnerships can and should emerge, and resources and know-how can be leveraged within and between governments as defense and homeland security departments, environmental departments, aid organizations, law enforcement agencies and other organizations find unchartered common ground," the report says.

-- Using advanced statistical methods and cutting-edge data analysis to map the illicit trade in animal parts worldwide. This would help governments and organizations work together across borders to better understand how poachers operate, making it easier to put the wildlife criminals out of business.

-- Increasing work with private sector technology firms to find new and innovative approaches to protect wildlife - including sensors, radars, drones and better training for park and security officials.

In recent years, roughly 60,000 elephants and over 1600 rhinos have been slaughtered by poachers. The illegal wildlife trade is a $19 billion/year industry - larger than the illicit trafficking of small arms, diamonds, gold and oil. Some reports suggest that up to forty percent of the funding for terrorism operations is now coming from the illegal wildlife trade.