06 Nov 2019

Fauna / A question of scales: Assessing strategies for countering illegal trafficking of pangolins in Africa

Pangolin trafficking is not simply an environmental management problem – it is a transnational organised crime.

Pangolins – also known as scaly anteaters – are among the most trafficked wildlife species in Africa and are considered the most trafficked mammal globally. The huge demand for their scales and meat, largely from Southeast Asia, has created a lucrative illicit market run by transnational criminal syndicates.

In Africa, most countries use generic anti-wildlife crime policies and strategies to address the illicit trade in pangolins. This approach fails to address specific issues related to the protection of pangolins, such as the loopholes in policies in dealing with the illegal trade in the species.

This policy brief identifies the gaps in existing policies and strategies, and offers evidence-based policy recommendations for the protection of pangolins and to stem illicit trade in Africa.

About the author

Richard Chelin is a researcher in the ENACT programme focusing on the Southern Africa region.

Photo © paula – Adobe Stock


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