Given the vast dimensions of the multibillion-dollar illegal wildlife trade (IWT), it may be surprising that until recently, global efforts to tackle IWT came mainly from the conservation sector. This has typically consisted of numerous donor-funded efforts to catch poachers and raise public awareness of the plight of endangered species.

Valuable as those efforts are, they do little to impact the organised crime networks, corruption and illicit financial flows that allow the lucrative illegal trade in wildlife products to continue.

One of the most serious security threats posed by poaching and wildlife trafficking may also be one of the least well documented: their relationship with organised crime.

To shed light on the subject, this chapter analyses the most common narratives on the link between poaching, wildlife trafficking and organised crime – and the security threat this link poses in African source and transit countries.

The Basel Institute is delighted about and welcomes the Wolfsberg Group's endorsement of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce Mansion House Declaration. This is a significant step in gaining the active support of the financial sector in combating the multibillion-dollar illegal wildlife trade.

The Basel Institute is the implementing partner of the intelligence-sharing mechanism of the United for Wildlife Financial Taskforce, a groundbreaking initiative of the Royal Foundation.