Combating Wildlife Trafficking

Although USAID has a long history of support for efforts to combat wildlife trafficking (CWT). These efforts are currently being prioritized due to a dramatic increase in the volume and scope of the threat in recent years and a 2014 Executive Order strengthening the Agency’s mandate to increase programing in this area.

Among the many strategic approaches employed by USAID to combat wildlife trafficking and outlined in the Agency’s Measuring Efforts to Combat Wildlife Crime Toolkit, USAID’s Forestry and Biodiversity Office chose three for special attention for the CWT Learning Group: (a) reducing consumer demand through behavior change methodologies, (b) building capacity for effective enforcement and prosecution, and (c) increasing community conservation action and support to combat wildlife trafficking. These three approaches are defined by individual development hypotheses (theories of change), as well as a combined hypothesis that, if implemented, these strategies will increase the risks for wildlife criminals and reduce profits from wildlife trafficking, which then will reduce overall wildlife crime, resulting in greater protection of species.

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