The question that United for Wildlife (UfW) has tackled since 2014 is how to successfully create a network strong enough to disincentivise the traffickers engaged with illegal wildlife crime. It has approached this by encouraging transnational information sharing and facilitating public and private sector collaboration, namely through the transport and finance industries, law enforcement, and NGOs.
Eight years on, UfW has brought together over 250 enforcement agencies, transport companies, financial institutions, and other corporations in the shared commitment to combat the illegal wildlife trade (IWT). Its Transport and Financial Taskforces have made important contributions to over 450 law enforcement cases, over 250 arrests, and almost 200 seizures of wildlife products including elephant ivory, rhino horn, and pangolin scales.
While anecdotal evidence suggests the initiative’s influence appears to be growing year on year, The Royal Foundation recently commissioned the Oxford Martin Programme on Wildlife Trade (OMP-WT) at the University of Oxford to conduct an independent evaluation of UfW’s impact to date, particularly via its engagement with the private sector through its Financial and Transport Taskforces. The extensive study included in-depth interviews with IWT experts and an online survey of UfW stakeholders. This is an executive summary of the report’s findings.