Symposium: International Wildlife Trafficking

A United for Wildlife event hosted by ZSL

This event took place on the 11 - 12 Feb 2014

The international illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products has reached crisis proportions. It is a threat to the existence of iconic species, undermines the rule of law, threatens local community development and livelihoods, local and national revenue streams, and compromises local and global security. It also creates a barrier to economic and social development and is a significant cause of the depletion of natural capital.

The growing menace of wildlife trafficking necessitates a call to action for the global community, which is increasingly recognised by governments, world leaders, conservation organizations and law enforcement agencies. There is an urgent need therefore to capitalise on this consensus and move forward from recognising the problem, to identifying the strategies and approaches that can successfully prevent this trade.

To do this we must draw on a wide array of expertise and experience; review the lessons learned from existing efforts and harness skills from other applicable fields if we are to better understand how to protect the supply and reduce the demand that feeds and drives the illegal trade. It is only by focusing on a solution-led approach that we can meet the challenge posed by the global trafficking in wildlife.

Symposium Information

The symposium reviewed the impacts of international wildlife trafficking; the most recent evidence on species affected, global security issues, transnational crime and links with poverty will be presented. The main focus of the symposium, however, was solutions. Evidence underlying solutions and a vision for how they can be implemented will be discussed. The symposium provided a forum for sharing experiences from those involved in fighting wildlife crime as well as those active in other, related fields that can provide insight in combating wildlife trafficking.

The first session focused on stopping illegal trade at source, in those countries in which trafficked wildlife originates. Topics covered ranged from securing wildlife strongholds, the use of new technologies to protect wildlife, strengthening national capacity to fight wildlife crime, countering paramilitary poaching, through to supporting the legal process and overcoming local corruption. The second session addressed the international dimension of trafficking with presentations including lessons from combating other serious international crime, such as drugs and arms, experiences shared from operations and initiatives against international wildlife crime and exploring the role that international policy and trade frameworks can play in addressing wildlife crime.

The focus then switched to reducing the demand for wildlife products, the key driver of trade; creative approaches to engaging consumers in behaviour change were presented including the perspective of the marketing/PR and public health sectors as well as case studies providing lessons learned in engaging with Chinese traditional medicine industry, and use of social marketing approaches. The symposium closed with a session synthesising the shared experiences of the two days, offering keynote perspectives for the future and the United for Wildlife partners presented their commitments to implementing solutions to wildlife trafficking.

Organised by:

  • Paul De Ornellas Assistant Programme Manager, Africa Programme, Zoological Society of London

  • Susan Lieberman Executive director, conservation policy, Wildlife Conservation Society

  • Jonathan Baillie Director of Conservation Programmes, Zoological Society of London

  • John Robinson Chief Conservation Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society

  • Heather Sohl Chief Adviser, Species, Science and Policy Team, WWF-UK

  • Rob Brett Regional Director, Africa, Fauna & Flora International

  • Richard Jenkins UK Manager, Global Species Programme, IUCN

  • Rosie Cooney IUCN SULi

  • Thomasina Oldfield Science, Research & Analysis Coordinator, TRAFFIC

  • Peter Paul Van Dijk Conservation International

  • Sabri Zain Director of Policy, TRAFFIC

  • Russell Mittermeier President, Conservation International

  • David Banks Regional Managing Director of Africa, The Nature Conservancy


United for wildlife is a partnership between: Conservation International, Fauna & Flora International, International Union for Conservation of Nature, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF-UK, the Zoological Society of London and the Royal Foundation. The collaboration represents a long-term commitment to tackle the global challenges to the world’s 

Further information


View the full symposium on YouTube

Related links


PDF icon Wildlife trade symposium abstracts (2.89 MB)


  • Dwi Adhiasto, WCS

  • Debbie Banks, Environmental Investigation Agency

  • Craig Bruce, ZSL

  • Ian Craig, Northern Rangelands Trust

  • Nav Dayanand, Fauna & Flora International

  • Gaël de Rotalier, European Commission

  • Naomi Doak, TRAFFIC

  • Grace Ge Gabriel, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

  • Naftali Honig, Project for the Application of Law for Fauna Republic of Congo

  • Lixin Huang, American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine

  • John Kasaona, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation

  • Peter Knights, WildAid

  • Michael Lebovitz, DLA Piper UK LLP

  • Tom Milliken, TRAFFIC

  • Alejandro Nadal, El Colegio de Mexico

  • Rob Ogden, TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network

  • Megh Pandey, Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Nepal

  • Anak Pattanavibool, WCS

  • Eric Phu, Independent Marketing Consultant

  • Rod Potter, Wildlife Investigator, South Africa

  • Michael 't Sas-Rolfes, Independent Conservation Economist

  • John Scanlon, CITES

  • John Sellar OBE, Anti-Smuggling, Fraud and Organized Crime Consultant

  • Heather Sohl, WWF

  • Davyth Stewart, INTERPOL

  • Raoul du Toit, Lowveld Rhino Trust

  • Ben Janse Van Rensburg, CITES

  • Lee White CBE, Agence Nationale des Parcs Nationaux