Basel Institute on Governance

Collective Action against illegal wildlife trade: Engaging freight forwarders and logistics providers

This report emerges from the Basel Institute's Green Corruption programme, a multi-disciplinary engagement that targets environmental degradation through tested anti-corruption, asset recovery and governance methods. It was funded by PMI Impact as part of a wider project on intelligence-led on financial crime in illegal wildlife trade (IWT).

The freight forwarding and logistics industry has been identified by IWT specialists and transport companies as being a crucial but not yet fully engaged sector when it comes to addressing IWT. This report sets the industry in its wider context and explores how it is affected by the risks around IWT. Understanding the industry, and how the illicit trade affects companies and their risk management, will help to build a strong business case for companies to catalyse their efforts to prevent and combat IWT both individually and through Collective Action.

The ultimate aim of the report is to create a baseline for greater dialogue between counter-IWT practitioners and industry representatives, and to help practitioners identify pathways to strengthen the engagement of this vital sector in the fight against IWT. The report is based on publicly available information.

Section 3 explores the industry and current trends affecting its vulnerability to abuse by wildlife traffickers. It looks at the specific services and actors involved in the cross-border transportation of goods, the main exposure to corruption and criminal acts, and the role of Customs.

Section 4 gives a picture of the global market for logistics services, identifying relevant players and setting out how the industry is distributed regionally and globally.

Section 5 discusses the main legal, financial and security risks for logistics providers related to IWT. It also offers five recommended risk mitigation measures for companies exposed to these risks.

Section 6 offers potential pathways for practitioners seeking to engage the industry in these collective efforts, taking advantage of the momentum of existing private sector-focused IWT forums. It also digs deeper into the business case for logistics providers to engage in Collective Action to address IWT.


03/2020 (3 years ago)


Scarlet Wannenwetsch
Monica Guy


Related publications


Guide to conducting corruption risk assessments in a wildlife law enforcement context

2023 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

corruption risk assessment

Working paper

How corruption threatens the forests of Ukraine: Typology and case studies on corruption and illegal logging.

2023 | Basel Institute on Governance

Yehor Hrynyk, Andrii Biletskyi, Amanda Cabrejo


Internal controls and illegal wildlife trade: A systemic approach to corruption prevention and law enforcement integrity

2023 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

Rebecca Batts


Law enforcement, criminal justice and natural resource corruption - a TNRC guide

2022 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

law enforcementcriminal justice systemconservationnatural resource corruptionenvironmental corruption

How political economy analysis can support corruption risk assessments to strengthen law enforcement against wildlife crimes

2022 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

Saba Kassa, Jacopo Costa, Cosimo Stahl, Claudia Baez Camargo


Basel Gold Day II: Recycled Gold – From awareness to collective action on recycled gold and artisanal mining

2022 | Office Pieth; Precious Metals Impact Forum

gold laundering


Illicit financial flows and natural resource corruption - a TNRC guide

2022 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

illicit financial flowsconservationfollow the moneynatural resource corruptionenvironmental corruption

Policy brief

Policy Brief 10: Using anti-money laundering frameworks to fight illegal wildlife trade in Uganda

2022 | Basel Institute on Governance

Tom Walugembe
illegal wildlife tradeAnti-money launderinglaw enforcementfinancial investigationsEast Africawildlife crimeprosecution

Article, Commissioned study

Working Paper 39: Behavioural drivers of corruption facilitating illegal wildlife trade – Problem analysis and state of the field review

2022 | Basel Institute on Governance; TRAFFIC

Claudia Baez Camargo, Gayle Burgess
natural resource managementillegal wildlife tradesocial normsbehavioural insights

Article, Commissioned study

Where are the weakest links in the illegal wildlife trade enforcement chain? Lessons from corruption risk assessments with agencies in three countries

2022 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

Manuel Medina, Juhani Grossmann, Taradhinta Sur…, Monica Guy
corruption risk assessmentillegal wildlife tradewildlife crimelaw enforcementcorruption risk management

Quick guide

Quick Guide 25: Tax investigations and illegal wildlife trade

2022 | Basel Institute on Governance

tax investigationstax evasionillegal wildlife tradewildlife trafficking

Quick guide

Quick Guide 24: Internal controls and anti-corruption

2022 | Basel Institute on Governance

Rebecca Batts
internal controlscorruption risk managementinternal audits


Determinants and drivers of wildlife trafficking: A qualitative analysis in Uganda

2022 | Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy

Saba Kassa, Claudia Baez Camargo, Jacopo Costa, Robert Lugolobi
wildlife traffickingillegal wildlife tradeenvironmental crimebehavioural driverssocial norms

Article, Commissioned study

Targeting Profit: Non-Conviction Based Forfeiture in Environmental Crime

2022 | Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project

Jonathan Spicer, Juhani Grossmann
non-conviction-based forfeitureasset recovery guidanceillicit enrichmentunexplained wealthenvironmental crimeenvironmental corruption


Structures, functions and flows of IWT: deconstructing a criminal network between East Africa and Southeast Asia

2022 | Crime, Law and Social Change

Jacopo Costa
social network analysisillegal wildlife tradeenvironmental crimetransnational organised crimecriminal governancenetwork ethnography


Papering over cracks or building stronger systems together? Financial crime in the context of covid-19

2021 | Basel Institute on Governance


Green Corruption - interview with Miljøkrim

2021 | Miljøkrim - a publication of Økokrim, the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime in Norway

Juhani Grossmann, Mark Pieth

Article, Report

Corrupting the Environment: insights on corruption, the environment and illicit trade

2021 | Basel Institute on Governance

Juhani Grossmann, Alexander Berman, Taradhinta Sur…, Jonathan Ambrogi, Monica Guy
environmental crimeenvironmental corruptionnatural resource managementfollow the moneybehavioural researchillegal wildlife tradewaste trafficking

Commissioned study, Report, Working paper

Working Paper 37: The Green Corruption paradox: Natural resource management and environmental corruption in Indonesia

2021 | Basel Institute on Governance; LSI

Juhani Grossmann, Rizka Halida, Taradhinta Sur…
environmental corruptionsustainable developmenteconomic developmentopinion surveyillegal loggingpalm oil plantationsstate-owned enterprises


The role of informal networks in promoting illegal wildlife trade: a qualitative analysis from Uganda

2021 | Trends in Organized Crime

Jacopo Costa, Claudia Baez Camargo, Saba Kassa, Robert Lugolobi