World Wildlife Day 2018

The Challenge:

Once an emerging threat, wildlife and forest crime today has transformed into one of the largest transnational organized criminal activities in the East Asia and Pacific region, generating an estimated USD 19.5 billion annually - almost one quarter of the nearly USD 90 billion earned per year in the region by transnational organized crime. Of this, the illegal harvesting and trafficking of timber alone is worth approximately USD 17 billion per year, making it the second highest value illicit commodity in the region.

Criminal syndicates operating the illegal trade in timber and wildlife are engaged in sophisticated forms of crime that are as serious as the international illicit trades in people, drugs, fake goods and fraudulent medicines. The illegal trade flourishes in the cracks of the legitimate timber and wildlife trade, and is fuelled by corruption, fraud, lax regulation and poor law enforcement.

Yet, despite the frequent involvement of other serious forms of criminality, and its negative impacts on social and economic development, security and livelihoods, wildlife and forest crime is too often viewed as being a low priority crime area among governments and the law enforcement community.

What we do:

UNODC works with legal systems and law enforcement agencies of Member States to:

  1. Strengthen policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks;
  2. Enhance knowledge and skills to investigate and prosecute related criminal activities;
  3. Increase awareness regarding the nature and scale of wildlife and forest crimes; and
  4. Enhance cooperation on a bilateral and regional level.

Find out how UNODC works with Member States to strengthen their legal systems and capacities of law enforcement agencies to combat environmental crimes. [Read more]


Learn more about our Global Programme on wildlife and forest crime (WLFC). [Read more]

Click here to access our latest publications, reports, research and other updates on our work on combatting environmental crime. [Read more]   Click here to access our latest multimedia and other updates on our work on combatting environmental crime. [Read more]

Giovanni Broussard
Regional Programme Coordinator
Global Programme for Combating Wildlife and Forest Crime
(+66-2) 288-2472