Corruption and wildlife trafficking

Meta-study on corruption’s role in wildlife trafficking, includes interviews with experts and a case study of Vietnam


Wildlife trafficking is a growing global concern. It takes place in all regions of the world with those nations with high biodiversity being the source and the consumers of the wildlife as well as transit areas and hubs for smuggled wildlife. It is a significant contributor to biodiversity loss and species extinction. Many if not most developing nations are rich in biodiversity and therefore must contend with wildlife trafficking. It is a critical concern for these nations’ environment and economies. It has been documented that corruption is an essential component in the facilitation and perpetration of the illegal wildlife trade, but a comprehensive study into the scale, scope and structure has yet to be undertaken.

This U4 Issue paper conducts a meta-study regarding corruption’s role in wildlife trafficking from the available literature, interviews with experts and a case study of Vietnam in an attempt to highlight concerns for bilateral donors in regards to conservation, environment and law enforcement programmes.


Wyatt, T.; Anh Ngoc Cao. Corruption and wildlife trafficking. U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, CMI, Bergen, Norway (2015) 54 pp. [U4 Issue 2015:11]

Corruption and wildlife trafficking

Published 1 January 2015