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World Wildlife Crime Report

The third edition of the World Wildlife Crime Report examines recent trends in the illicit trafficking of protected wildlife and provides an overview of the causes and implications of this crime globally. As in the 2016 and 2020 editions, this report includes quantitative assessments of global wildlife trafficking and detailed case studies. A new focus is on analyzing the harms and impacts of wildlife crime, the factors driving trends, and effective interventions.

Despite two decades of efforts, wildlife trafficking continues worldwide. Some progress has been made in reducing the impact on iconic species like elephants and rhinoceros through combined demand and supply-side efforts. However, the UNODC reports no substantial reduction in overall wildlife trafficking.

The scale of wildlife crime remains significant, with 2015-2021 seizures indicating illegal trade in 162 countries affecting around 4,000 species. This trafficking threatens conservation, disrupts ecosystems, and undermines climate change resilience. It also jeopardizes socioeconomic benefits from nature and corrodes governance through corruption and illicit financial flows.

Transnational organized crime groups exploit regulatory and enforcement weaknesses in wildlife markets, continuously adapting to evade detection. Corruption significantly undermines efforts to regulate and enforce actions against wildlife trade.

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