The BIOSEC project critically examines the recent claims that wildlife poaching and trafficking constitute a serious global security threat

Levels of poaching and trafficking of some of the world’s most iconic species have increased. NGOs, national governments and international organisations have claimed that wildlife trafficking
generates ‘threat finance’ – that is that it funds organised crime and terrorism. But the evidence for this is sparse – and we need to develop a much better understanding of whether there is a
relationship between them.

BIOSEC – Biodiversity and Security: Understanding Environmental Crime, illegal wildlife trade and threat finance – is a four-year project, funded by a EURO 1.8million European Research Council (ERC) Advanced Investigator Grant. The Prinicipal Investigator is Professor Rosaleen Duffy, Professor of International Politics at the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield, who works alongside Jared Margulies, Francis Masse (Post-Doctoral Fellows), Hannah Dickinson, Laure Joanny (PhD students) and Ruth Wilson (Project Manager). BIOSEC also has an Advisory Board comprising of academic and non-academic partners who have relevant research and policy interests, and a wider network of BIOSEC Fellows with research interests in political ecology, conflict, conservation and environmental politics.

(From L-R: Rosaleen Duffy, Ruth Wilson, Francis Masse, Jared Margulies, Hannah Dickinson, Laure Joanny)

Running until August 2020, BIOSEC will look into what constitutes an environmental crime, the responses by the European Union to the illegal wildlife trade, and how new technology is being used to tackle poaching and trafficking. The project aims to generate new data on the illegal wildlife trade to demonstrate the ways that biodiversity protection and security are linked, as well as providing new approaches to understanding the links between the two.

With policy-makers urgently needing more information in order to design more effective and socially just responses, the BIOSEC project team will also produce policy relevant information to assist and support in practical actions to protect wildlife across the globe.

Hear the BIOSEC team talk more about the project:


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