Stop the Illegal Wildlife Trade

A campaign by The Independent and London Evening Standard, led by proprietor Evgeny Lebedev, in partnership with the conservation charity Space for Giants, to end the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products..

Covid-19 has killed tens of thousands of people and threatens the lives of millions more. It has brought the global economy to its knees, left tens of millions unemployed and confined humanity to our homes. While we scramble to get ourselves out of this mess, it is critical to remember we are in this situation because of the exploitation of nature, where wild animals have been captured to supply a highly lucrative international illegal trade in their parts.

Stopping the illegal wildlife trade is preventive health care for humanity’s survival.

Significant conservation wins have been made over the years to protect natural ecosystems and their landscapes. Poaching of wildlife for trophies has reduced tremendously over the years, and arrests of notorious wildlife criminals have been made. Communities and governments have benefited from nature-based economies, including tourism, leading to significant development and improvement of livelihoods. 

But all of this is at risk, because of the pandemic. We stand today at the brink of this new emergency, where the protectors of wildlife – from communities to rangers and prosecutors – no longer have the resources they need effectively to fight the illegal wildlife trade, reversing the gains made. We’re worried what will follow will be an onslaught against the remaining species of interest to international wildlife crime syndicates. 

By donating to our campaign, you will help Space for Giants and ESI Media achieve critical impact by:

  1. Protecting wild animals in their natural habitat by supporting field rangers in Africa to effectively fight poaching
  2. Improving conviction rates and penalties for those involved in wildlife crime
  3. Lobbying the general public and governments in countries with major wildlife markets to both reduce demand for wildlife and put in place new legal provisions to close down associated wildlife markets
  4. Generating value to ensure critical wildlife habitat is protected, forever


    • £5 buys food for a ranger for a day
    • £50 enables one court monitor to observe all pangolin, elephant, rhino and other critical wildlife court cases for one day in a poaching hotspot, helping to improve convictions
    • £52  ensures a ranger receives high level tactical training and life saving skills, making them effective while combating poaching
    • £100 buys a medical kit for a ranger team 
    • £350 will cover the cost of a ranger in the field per month including the salary, medical cover and basic equipment, enabling them to effectively fight poaching
    • £500 will pay for a rangers’ specialised uniform
    • £900 will pay for a legal toolkit for a prosecutor to increase conviction rates and penalties for wildlife crime (picture of prosecution guidelines)

A donation of any amount will go a long way in ensuring that we are able to achieve these goals, prevent pandemics and stop the illegal wildlife trade.

Elephant in jungle