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The program represents a culmination of efforts to create innovative public-private partnerships that address the urgent issue of environmental crime. These illicit activities not only threaten biodiversity, but pose a direct challenge to global security and regional economic development. The launch also coincides with this week's high level London Summit on the illegal wildlife trade, and the release of the U.S. National Strategy for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking.
"Wildlife trafficking is the fourth largest illicit industry in the world today and has serious environmental and economic consequences, in addition to contributing to the funding of organized crime and terrorism," said Managing Director Brian Finlay, who leads the MAB initiative. "Action is needed now more than ever, because of the serious threat environmental crime poses to international security. It necessitates wider and more sophisticated cross boundary cooperation."
In the last year, Stimson has led of a number of activities in order to bring together diverse actors across the international security, development, and conservation continuum to address this transnational threat: