The illegal wildlife trade (IWT) is one of the world’s most lucrative criminal activities, with much of the trade now occurring online. This burgeoning market not only poses a severe threat to biodiversity and animal welfare but also exacerbates the risk of zoonotic diseases.

This report delves into the complexities of online IWT, shedding light on the scale, dynamics, and implications of this global issue, and highlighting the need for innovative solutions to combat it.

The shift of IWT to online platforms has transformed the landscape of wildlife trafficking. Traffickers exploit various digital spaces, including e-commerce platforms, social media, and messaging apps like WhatsApp, to market and distribute illegal wildlife products.

One of the significant challenges in combating online IWT is the lack of comprehensive data. ECO-SOLVE’s Global Monitoring System aims to address this issue by systematically monitoring online IWT and gathering global data to support law enforcement and inform policymaking.

To combat online IWT, our report emphasizes the need for:

  • Enhanced data collection and analysis
  • Increased international cooperation
  • Improved training and resources for law enforcement
  • Better coordination between NGOs and law enforcement

ECO-SOLVE leads the charge against environmental crime with its global, collaborative, data-driven approach. Our mission: transform data insights into impactful action; support law enforcement to disrupt illicit flows; empower communities; shape effective global policies. ECO-SOLVE is an EU-funded project within the Global Illicit Flows Programme.

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