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Strengthening Governance and Reducing Corruption Risks to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade

Lessons from East and Southern Africa

image of Strengthening Governance and Reducing Corruption Risks to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade

In countries affected by the illegal wildlife trade, corruption is a key enabler and facilitator. Failure to address this corruption, and the institutional and governance gaps that allow it to take place, make tackling the illegal wildlife trade a significant challenge. This report provides a structured analysis of how corruption facilitates wildlife crime based on research in four source and transit countries in East and Southern Africa. It offers a series of specific recommendations targeted at national governments, donors, and intergovernmental organisations to address the issues of corruption and the illegal wildlife trade.

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Foreword

Governance frameworks are fundamental for enabling economic integration and securing free trade. While free trade contributes to prosperity and helps lift millions out of poverty, globalisation also creates vulnerabilities that can be exploited by criminal networks at the expense of public safety, human rights and environmental resources. Such vulnerabilities enable, among other forms of trafficking, the global scourge that is the illegal wildlife trade, which erodes natural resources and undermines the long-term viability of ecosystems and diversity. The consequences of this trade are thus particularly dire for poorer rural communities in source and transit countries.

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