Wildlife trafficking, the illegal poaching, transit, trade and sale of wildlife, generates more than $10 billion a year for transnational organized criminal networks. This illegal trade has devastating impacts: it threatens security, undermines the rule of law, fuels corruption, restricts economic development, pushes species to the brink of extinction, contributes to the spread of disease and robs local communities of their natural resource base, including the economic benefits they derive from the legal sale of wildlife and hunting revenues. The multifaceted nature and global scale of this problem calls for strategic cooperation at global, regional, national and local levels.
As the United States is one of the world’s major markets for both legal and illegal wildlife and wildlife products, the U.S. government has an important role to play in addressing wildlife trafficking. ECW, as the designated lead for the Department´s role as co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking, coordinates inter-agency efforts to strengthen global enforcement, reduce the demand for illegal wildlife products, and expand international commitment across a range of multilateral, regional and bilateral forums. ECW also coordinates the Department’s work to implement the END Wildlife Trafficking Act, signed into law in October 2016.