The key determinants of whether particular species and ecosystems will live or die today are social factors – criminal behavior, political corruption, consumer behavior, land use decisions, cultural norms and practices, individual psychology, conflict, poverty, local livelihood choices, socio-economic inequalities, et al. But despite recognizing that our current biodiversity catastrophe has human, social roots, conservationists and environmentalists have yet to translate such consensus into action to save wildlife and the natural environment on a wide scale. 

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.

So what is intelligence in a nutshell?

Intelligence is simply the systematic collection, processing and analysis of information to understand a specific topic or threat. Decision-makers and other stakeholders can then use that knowledge to decide how to act in order to reach their goals.

It’s less about James Bond and more about drafting reports, evaluating data, mining databases and investigating complex trails of transactions and other relevant connections.