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Focus Areas

Combating Wildlife Trafficking (CWT)

What is wildlife trafficking?

Wildlife trafficking is the illegal trade of animals, animal parts and products. This transcontinental organized wildlife crime destroys wildlife populations and wildlife-based livelihoods, creating social and political instability. Wildlife trafficking undermines the rule of law, supports corruption and money laundering, spreads zoonotic diseases, and has links to organized criminal networks. It is a security issue as much as a conservation issue. 

Our approach to CWT

RTI holistically tackles wildlife crime and trafficking from source, transit, and destination countries in Africa and Asia. We reduce consumer demand for wildlife parts and products and promote positive environmental changes through behavior, advocacy, policy, and cooperation and coordination among stakeholders, paired with innovative technologies to enable them to do so. 

From community-led communications campaigns and the use of social marketing tools, to targeted behavior change campaigns that are based on formative research, we customize our approach to reducing consumer demand in order to effectively change practices and promote positive environmental behavior at a local, national, or regional scale.

Combatting wildlife trafficking requires multiagency coordination and cooperation at various levels. Our programming builds capacity for enhanced wildlife management, law enforcement, and prosecutions through strengthening local and transboundary coordination, improving traceability with access to current and new technology, developing alternative livelihoods, and creating community-based incentives. 

Learn more about our work in environment.