The Latin America-to-Asia Wildlife Trade
To examine the role of the international community in shaping Latin America’s environmental agenda, the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program, Brazil Institute, the Environmental Change and Security Program, China Environment Forum, and Global Europe Program launched a collaborative research project in 2020, Latin America’s Environmental Policies in Global Perspective.
The latest paper in this series explores the role of China and other Asian countries in the Latin American wildlife trade and trafficking. Sharon Guynup, a Wilson Center global fellow and National Geographic grantee, highlights how the international illegal wildlife trade, valued at $23 billion per year, excluding fishing, ranks as the fourth-largest criminal enterprise after drugs, weapons and human trafficking. In addition to contributing to corruption, wildlife trade and trafficking is “pushing thousands of species to the brink of extinction, with cascading, far-reaching effects,” Guynup writes.
Guynup cites recent multilateral activities, including the Lima Declaration, designed to combat these threats. But she argues that greater efforts are needed, with many experts “pushing for a global suspension of all commercial wild animal trade to protect biodiversity and human health.”
About the Author
Environmental journalist and author; Contributor, The New York Times, National Geographic, and other outlets
Latin American Program
The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan policy forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action. Read more
The Brazil Institute—the only country-specific policy institution focused on Brazil in Washington—works to foster understanding of Brazil’s complex reality and to support more consequential relations between Brazilian and U.S. institutions in all sectors. Read more
Environmental Change and Security Program
The Environmental Change and Security Program (ECSP) explores the connections between environmental change, health, and population dynamics and their links to conflict, human insecurity, and foreign policy. Read more
Global Europe Program
The Global Europe Program addresses vital issues affecting the European continent, U.S.-European relations, and Europe’s ties with the rest of the world. We investigate European approaches to critical global issues: digital transformation, climate, migration, global governance. We also examine Europe’s relations with Russia and Eurasia, China and the Indo-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. Our program activities cover a wide range of topics, from the role of NATO, the European Union and the OSCE to European energy security, trade disputes, challenges to democracy, and counter-terrorism. The Global Europe Program’s staff, scholars-in-residence, and Global Fellows participate in seminars, policy study groups, and international conferences to provide analytical recommendations to policy makers and the media. Read more
China Environment Forum
Since 1997, the China Environment Forum's mission has been to forge U.S.-China cooperation on energy, environment, and sustainable development challenges. We play a unique nonpartisan role in creating multi-stakeholder dialogues around these issues. Read more