A Coordinated Effort to Combat Wildlife Trafficking

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The intelligence community (IC), in coordination with government entities and private organizations, is working together to tackle a growing national security threat: wildlife trafficking. At a conference at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) last week, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that the IC is committed to fighting this “truly global problem.”

Current estimates place revenue generated from wildlife trafficking at around $40 billion per year, noted Daniel Foote, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. Globalized communication networks, advanced technologies employed by criminal organizations, and an increase in consumer demand for animal goods, such as ivory and rhino horn – particularly from China, Vietnam, and other Asian countries – have all converged to create an “exponential growth in illegal trade of wildlife,” Clapper remarked.

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