By Derek Mead
Wildlife trafficking and forest crime is worth at least $17 billion a year worldwide, which makes it such a big industry that it's impossible to encapsulate its breadth in one or a dozen posts. But the above video from the EIA and Traffic/WWF does a great job of distilling the breadth of wildlife and forest crime down into two minutes. If you want it summed up even further, try this: In every corner of the world, people are poaching, stealing, selling and buying protected species.
While I'm not normally a fan of text-heavy videos, in this case it works because the figures are simply astounding. Rhino poaching in South Africa has increased 50-fold in the last five years. 30 percent of the world's timber comes from illegal sources. More than 5,400 endangered Asian big cats have been poached since 2000. And in many of those cases, the millions and billions made are being funneled into the pockets of criminals, corrupt officials, and militants. It's fairly overwhelming, so what can you do? Supporting the above organizations is a start, but more than that, the trade won't go away until more people are made aware of how destructive it is. Spread the word, folks. Video.