What does trafficking in oil have to do with the rise of the Islamic State? What does a hunted elephant in Kenya have to do with an al-Shabaab raid of a Somali village? The two events may be linked by more than mere proximity: increasingly, we can directly trace the financing of terrorist and transnational organized crime groups to poaching and wildlife trafficking.
According to UN estimates, militias in sub-Saharan Africa rake in up to $12 million from ivory sales alone per year. Despite the growing global security implications of environmental crime, the international community is still grappling with how to most effectively tackle these issues, which are all too often relegated to conservation groups and aid agencies.
On July 15, YPFP will examine the rise of environmental crime as a geostrategic challenge with far reaching implications beyond conservation. Indeed, environmental crime today is upwards a $200 billion annual industry and nearly every terrorist group active today is engaged in and profiting from the illicit activity. Join us for a conversation led by Johan Bergenas on the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to this growing phenomenon (including an operational tech program in Kenya), as well as about the current actions being taken by the Obama administration and the United States Congress. This event will include a brief Q&A session moderated by Ryan Young, chair of the Combating Terrorism Discussion Group. (To learn more about YPFP Discussion Groups, click here.)
Johan Bergenas is the deputy director of the Managing Across Boundaries initiative at the Stimson Center, where he directs analysis and field projects focused on the nexus between security and development, environmental crime, smart technology capacity building, and public-private sector partnerships. He has recently been published in the SAIS Review of International Affairs, Politico, and the Washington Post on these critical issues.
1825 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20009
Google map and directions