The Fight To Save Africa’s Wildlife Treasures

08 Jun 22 | Published by Ruth Magona

The illegal wildlife trade is a major transnational organised crime that generates between US$7 billion and US$23 billion each year, placing it alongside the illegal trafficking of narcotics, arms, and humans in size and scale. And nowhere is the impact of this illegal trade more disastrous than in Africa the home of the world’s most beautiful wildlife giants

 – Despite the international trade ban on ivory, it estimated that over 35,000 African Elephants are killed every year. The African Elephant population has been depleted by 20% in last 10 years alone

 – The use of Rhino horn for medicinal purposes is still legal in some Asian countries, this African giant remains one of the most targeted animals by wildlife poachers in the world. In the last 100 years, the world population of rhinos has decreased by over 95% (500,000 -> 2,500 approx.)

 – Over the past 10 years we have seen an exponential increase in the demand for illegally obtained African wildlife along the Asia – Africa trading corridor. 

Like many other types of predicate organised crimes, the proceeds of this illegal trade cannot entirely avoid entering the global financial system; through the process of Money Laundering. 

Banks, Fintechs and other Payments Services Providers around the globe must fully understand how this illegal trade in wildlife works; how the proceeds of crime are moved and by what means they enter the legitimate banking system. 

This webinar will provide you with an insight into the activities of criminals involved in the illegal wildlife trade; and the risks of your organisation facilitating the laundering their illicit funds


Our Speakers

Anne-Marie Weeden, Senior Research Fellow – RUSI (Royal United Services Institute)

Anne-Marie is a Senior Research Fellow and the Environmental Crime portfolio lead within the Organised Crime and Policing research group at RUSI. She has specific expertise in working with civil society and law enforcement to combat high-value wildlife trafficking and associated illicit financial flows in East and Southern Africa. She has been instrumental in supporting and coordinating previous RUSI research into these areas, during her career working in conservation in Uganda. She is now based in the UK and is also currently pursuing a Master’s in Economic Crime and International Criminal Justice at the University of Portsmouth.

Dibblex Lesalon, Founder and host of Boots on the Ground podcast

Dibblex is the founder and host of Boots on the ground podcast, an interview style podcast that focuses on addressing three main issues including; Wildlife conservation, biodiversity preservation, and climate change. Having grown up in a small town called Narok neighbouring the Maasai Mara national reserve, he developed a keen interest in wildlife and people from a very young age. He did his final year University project in Namunyak Conservancy, Samburu County in 2017, to assess the level of host community participation in the development and management of Tourism.

Dibblex’s goal is to amplify African voices in the conservation space. His long term vision is to get to the ground and do stories about exemplary men and women who are going out of their way to do all they can to ensure that our wildlife, key habitats, and people survive and thrive across Africa.

Lauren Young, Research Analyst – RUSI (Royal United Services Institute)

Lauren is a Research Analyst in the Organised Crime and Policing team at RUSI with expertise in wildlife crime and conservation. Her previous research includes investigating new strategies for tackling cyber-enabled wildlife crime in the UK, content development of e-crime tools for law enforcement agencies in Southeast Asia, a strategic review of the South African Development Community’s (SADC) Law Enforcement and Anti-Poaching (LEAP) strategy, and an economic analysis of illegal wildlife supply chains in Eastern and Southern Africa. She holds an MSc (Distinction) in Conservation and International Wildlife Trade from the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology, University of Kent. In a voluntary capacity, she also helps manage and coordinate a conservation project in the Peruvian Amazon.


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