On the Verge – An Interview with Tanya Wyatt on Environmental and Wildlife Crime (018)

In this episode, Dr. Natasha Bajema, Director of the Converging Risks Lab, moderates a discussion about environmental crime and wildlife trafficking and their connection to security. The discussants are Dr. Rod Schoonover, Head of the Council on Strategic Risks’s Ecological Security Program, and Dr. Tanya Wyatt, Professor of Criminology at Northumbria University in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the UK. This is part of a series of discussions about the concept of ecological security.

Dr. Wyatt’s research focuses on green criminology with a specialty in wildlife crime and trafficking, non-human animal abuse and welfare, and their intersections with organized crime, corporate crime, and corruption. Professor Wyatt also researches crimes of the powerful, particularly industrial agriculture and wider issues of pollution.

Before coming to CSR, Dr. Schoonover served a decade in the U.S. intelligence community, first at the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research and later at the National Intelligence Council, working on the national security and foreign policy implications of environmental and ecological change.

To fill an urgent gap in understanding and addressing the security implications of global ecological disruption, the Council on Strategic Risks (CSR) has significantly expanded its Ecological Security Program over the past months, with the help of a grant of close to $1 million from the V. Kann Rasmussen Foundation. The program, housed within CSR’s Converging Risks Lab, addresses all elements of global ecological disruption, including biodiversity loss and beyond, caused by drivers such as habitat change, direct (and often illegal) exploitation of organisms, climate change, pollution, and the spread of damaging invasive or otherwise destructive organisms. 

To read more about our work on ecological security issues, please read CSR’s landmark ecological security report The Security Threat That Binds Us and the programmatic and policy responses recommended in that report, as well as the recently-published report Societal and Security Implications of Ecosystem Service Declines, Part 1: Pollination and Seed Dispersal.