Margit Hellwig-Bötte

Wildlife Crime in Africa – A Global Challenge

Successful Countermeasures Must Involve Local Populations

SWP Comment 2014/C 12, February 2014, 4 Pages



A series of high-ranking international meetings in 2013 drew global public attention to the dramatic collapse of elephant and rhinoceros populations in Africa, and to the connections between wildlife crime, terrorist networks and organised crime. On 12 February 2014 an international conference in London again took up the question of how to combat poaching and the illegal wildlife trade.

Successful action against wildlife crime is a cross-cutting global task encompassing wildlife conservation, fighting organised crime, promotion of rule of law, and economic cooperation, as well as resolute anti-corruption and involvement of local populations along the entire supply chain. Countermeasures will function only if people in Africa enjoy economically viable livelihoods and benefit from wildlife protection. In Asia, renouncing ivory as a status symbol and dropping superstitions about the medical value of rhinoceros products demands a change of mindset.

SWP Research Paper