Shared skies: convergence of wildlife trafficking with other illicit activities in the aviation industry

An assessment of the routes, networks and methods used for trafficking wildlife and other illicit goods such as drugs and weapons between 2015-2019 has evidenced a high degree of interconnection, which could prove fundamental to disrupting illicit activities. The findings are detailed in the newly published brief, Shared Skies, produced by the Center for Advanced Defense Studies (C4ADS) as part of the USAID Reducing Opportunities for Unlawful Transport of Endangered Species (ROUTES) Partnership. It draws upon case studies of illicit convergence (which the report defines as the coincidence of multiple types of trafficking activities) and, crucially, advises on how this information can be leveraged to disrupt criminal activities and stop trafficking of various kinds in its tracks. Shared skies identifies five levels at which convergence of illicit trades may occur: within the same shipment, coordinated by the same organization, using the same routes, passing through the same hub (such as a city or airport) or travelling through the same jurisdiction.