John M. Sellar

I attended a major international workshop in Thailand last weekend, which brought together experts to consider wildlife crime in Asia. I took Laurel’s book with me and read it in the evenings. The workshop participants acknowledged that several areas of wildlife crime are driven by organized and sophisticated criminal groups. In the meantime, Laurel’s account of the work of Ken Goddard and his colleagues shows that some of the law enforcement community’s response is also highly sophisticated and uses the latest research and technology. I wish there were more specialized forensic scientists and wildlife crime laboratories elsewhere in the world. However, what I think we need most is for wildlife crime to be seen as ‘mainstream’ crime and for it to receive the priority and attention that it deserves. I’m sure Laurel’s work will help further that cause, reinforce the extent of the problems we face, and the effect they are having on biodiversity around the world.

John M. Sellar, Chief of Enforcement Assistance, CITES Secretariat, Geneva, Switzerland