TNRC External Resource WBG Paper

Illegal Logging, Fishing and Wildlife Trade:
The Costs and How to Combat It

This 2019 paper from the World Bank Group concludes that illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trade have a combined estimated value of USD 1 trillion or more per year and that governments in source countries forego an estimated USD 7-12 billion each year in potential revenues as a result of this illegality. The majority of these losses (over 90 percent) comes from estimated ecosystem services that are not currently priced by the market. The report recognizes corruption as a pervasive facilitating factor behind environmental crime and illicit trade and provides a basic road map to address the root causes of these illegal activities.

Conservation and natural resource management practitioners can leverage this data to support legal and policy reforms that address illicit trade in wildlife, fisheries and forests. These losses could be a strong motivation for policy makers in source countries, including finance and revenue officials, to pay more attention to illegal logging, fishing and wildlife trade. The economic case should also be compelling to actors concerned with international development and those who are interested in addressing money-laundering, corruption, fraud, racketeering and financial crime.

Download PDF (12.8MB)


Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus