eBook Review: An insiders perspective of the cruel and organized global business of illegal wildlife trade.
If you, like me, are concerned about the survival of all the unique species of animals and plants on the planet, you may already know that after habitat loss, wildlife trafficking is the second biggest threat to their existence. What I didn’t know, and was shocked to read, was that the global illegal wildlife trade is big business, ranked as the fourth highest revenue generator in international crime. So, all those page filler stories, occasional mentions on the local channels about the smuggling of exotic pets, tiger and other big cat skins, elephant ivory, rhino horn and so many more unreported crimes, add up to a whopping $5-$20 billion in global trade, according to the eBook “Capitalism Gone Wrong aka Wildlife Trafficking“.
Based on information provided by Anthony Wanguru Stevenson Ruoro, a Kenyan wildlife conservation activist and published by the team at Nikela, this eBook describes all the key players, and their motives, in this inhumane and illegal wildlife trade. While the facts in the eBook are laid out in almost businesslike detail, not unlike an industry case study in school, the descriptions of the characters, and their cruelty and greed, would make your blood run cold.
There are the buyers, primarily from Asia, who see ownership of a species of wildlife, or part of it, from a different country as a symbol of power and status. Their desire for these exotic goods is kept high by the syndicates, who not only supply them with what they want, but use their knowledge of the market to create demand for new products, while increasing existing sales.
The book also outlines how, motivated solely by profits and heartless in their approach, these crime groups set up elaborate logistics systems for the capture and transport of anything and everything their customers want. In the process, they make pawns of the impoverished locals in the areas where poaching takes place, bribe corrupt authorities along the shipping routes of these products and accept support from terrorist groups for security, logistics and more.
The last section focuses on the urgent need for solutions to stem this growing problem of illegal wildlife trade. While inter-agency efforts to support increased vigilance, provision of manpower and equipment, have led to the capture of more smugglers in Nairobi and Mombasa, enforcing similar strategies in other countries in Africa and a greater level of commitment by world leaders would be essential to making any significant impact on this stark example of “capitalism gone wrong, very wrong”.