Month: May 2015

Washington Report

In April 2015, we concluded this year-long research project with presentations in Washington DC. We wrote six papers as part of this project which are proprietary to the client, the Congressional Research Service. Six students — Leo Carter, Caitlin Goodrich,

Multiplier Effect

While ecotourism provides clear, direct economic benefits to countries, those benefits are often underestimated, since the numerous inputs required to support the ecotourism industry are difficult to quantify. For example, items such as food, supplies, transportation, public works, infrastructure, and

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The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Wildlife Trafficking

As President Obama has been pitching the Trans-Pacific Partnership to voters and elected officials, he has meet fierce resistance from some of his fellow Democrats. The trade deal, still in the process of being negotiated, involves at present 12 Asian

The Small Risks, Big Rewards, and Bigger Consequences of Poaching

As I mentioned in my first blog post, countries with weak rule of law (more specifically, weak enforcement of wildlife crime-related laws) can be particularly attractive sites for the capture, transit, and sale of illegal wildlife products.  A key problem

We need a single international accreditation system for ecotourism operators

In the world of sustainability, the concept of accreditation or certification for “green,” “just,” or otherwise “sustainable” products is often applied in markets for which it is believed that some consumers would pay a premium for the “more responsible” product.

Debt-for-Nature and the Illicit Wildlife Trade

Debt-for-nature (DFN) swaps “involve the purchase of a developing country’s debt at a discounted value in the secondary debt market and canceling the debt in return for environment-related action on the part of the debtor nation.” The debt that is purchased

Creating a “Trafficking in Wildlife” report

Currently, the U.S. Department of State publishes the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, “which places each country onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the ‘minimum standards for the elimination

Craigslist singled out in latest IFAW investigation

Informed by my career at eBay and as a student of the illegal wildlife trade, I have developed a keen interest in how wildlife traffickers use the internet to facilitate transactions. My last post, at least in small part, celebrated the

Wildlife trade shifting from e-commerce to social media

In a previous post several months ago, I discussed how e-commerce sites are a major conduit for the online trade of illegal wildlife products. The International Fund for Animal Welfare has been the foremost organization to monitor the online sale

To Be or Not to Be: The ‘De-Extinction’ Debate

I’ll confess that, before this class, I wasn’t uniquely concerned about the illegal wildlife trade or the plight of endangered animals. As I researched the issue, however, the sheer gravity of the issue finally occurred to me. Particularly distressing for