Simone Haysom

This synthesis brings together select findings from across ‘Digital Dangers’, a year-long project run by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime. The primary objective of the Digital Dangers project has been to acquire a better understanding of the unsustainable online trade in endangered animals and illicit wildlife products, and develop a foundation for its disruption.

The Digital Dangers project has yielded diverse outputs, including funding and training for investigative journalists, three species-specific case studies of online trade, four policy briefs considering different aspects of law-enforcement response, and the creation of a new piece of technology for identifying internet sites related to online transactions of CITES-1-listed species. This culminating report draws selectively on insights from these activities to present our conclusions to the question of how best to respond to the growth of digitally enabled methods of marketing, buying and selling illicit wildlife products. It delivers the results of this analysis in three sections. The first describes the present situation, the second looks at how shifts to digitally enabled trade have themselves disrupted existing approaches by both illicit traders and those tasked with combating IWT, and the final section considers different possible approaches to disrupting online IWT.