The illegal wildlife trade has been a dilemma for decades

and remains prevalent globally – international intervention is

required now. While most countries participate in the Convention

on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild

Fauna and Flora (“CITES”), not all countries have the same approaches

to combating the illegal wildlife trade. Unique approaches

can be beneficial because each illegally traded species

requires a different response, and countries with limited resources

can also participate. However, the lack of a unified response

hinders the global fight against the illegal wildlife trade.

While traditional methods to combat crime, such as passing

laws, are an excellent place to start, they are meaningless without

effective enforcement and prosecution. Due to the complexity

of the illegal wildlife trade, the lack of understanding severely

hinders the ability to effectively combat it. This comment

begins with reasons why the illegal wildlife trade is critical to

confront. This comment continues with illustrating what CITES

is, CITES’s shortcomings, and other international organizations

that aid in the fight against illegal wildlife trade. This comment

then details the potential approaches to decrease the demand for

unsustainable wildlife products that come from endangered species.

This comment will explain the community-based natural

resource management (“CBNRM”) approach and how it can empower

communities and sustain biodiversity. This comment will

then discuss insufficient data collection and submission to

CITES and how both can increase to aid in the global fight

against wildlife crimes. This comment will explore how a lack of

enforcement on a national level affects the country and affects

the world. This comment will conclude with recommendations

on strengthening the fight against illegal wildlife trade using demand

reducing programs, CBNRM where appropriate, increased

shared data, and more vigorous enforcement.