The Stimson Center's Managing Across Boundaries Initiative (MAB) today launches a new program on Environmental Crime.
The program represents a culmination of efforts to create innovative public-private partnerships that address the urgent issue of environmental crime. These illicit activities not only threaten biodiversity, but pose a direct challenge to global security and regional economic development. The launch also coincides with this week's high level London Summit on the illegal wildlife trade, and the release of the U.S. National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking.
"Wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest illicit industry in the world today and has serious environmental and economic consequences, in addition to contributing to the funding of organized crime and terrorism," said Managing Director Brian Finlay, who leads the MAB initiative. "Action is needed now more than ever, because of the serious threat environmental crime poses to international security. It necessitates wider and more sophisticated cross boundary cooperation."
In the last year, Stimson has led of a number of activities in order to bring together diverse actors across the international security, development, and conservation continuum to address this transnational threat:
- Stimson recently published a report in January 2014, Killing Animals, Buying Arms and co-hosted an event with the British Embassy, previewing the themes discussed during this week's international Summit in London.
- Stimson was recently invited to share the findings of its field research on this issue in prominent forums around the world, including the New York Times and the Washington Post.
- And Stimson has teamed up with the Kenya Wildlife Service, technology experts and innovators to develop a pilot project at the Ngulia Rhino Sanctuary in southern Kenya.
Stimson's work on environmental crime is led by Johan Bergenas, Deputy Director of the Managing Across Boundaries Initiative.
The Stimson Center is a nonproﬁt and nonpartisan think tank that seeks pragmatic solutions for some of the most important peace and security challenges around the world. Stimson was recently honored with a MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.