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New Publication: GIS Standards for Tackling the Global Illegal Wildlife Trade

Some time ago I took part in an excellent workshop exploring ways to better utilise GIS data and analyses to understand and help tackle the global illegal trade in wildlife. The workshop was a multi-agency affair with representatives from government, NGOs and law-enforcement. Part of the proceeds of that workshop have recently been published and I was honored to be a co-author on the work.


Governments, law enforcement and conservation scientists are collecting data on wildlife trafficking in larger quantities and of better quality than ever before, but it remains underutilized by decision makers. A vital part of effective wildlife trafficking interventions is collection, aggregation, and analysis of data across a range of sources. Many data are geospatial, but these data cannot be effectively accessed or aggregated without appropriate geospatial data standards.


Geospatial data standards for combating wildlife trafficking define many fields and attributes. These data are fundamentally critical to meaningful sharing and analysis of data across physical, digital, political, and organizational boundaries.

Our goal was to create geospatial data standards to help advance efforts to combat wildlife trafficking. The standards support data-to-decision efforts in the field, for example indictments of key figures within wildlife trafficking, and disruption of their networks. Geospatial data standards can increase utilization of wildlife trafficking data, advance evidence-based decision making, and reduce wildlife trafficking.

Read the full paper here

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