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About TRAFFIC

Governance of TRAFFIC

TRAFFIC is governed by a Committee whose members are appointed by WWF and IUCN.

TRAFFIC Committee

Members:   
  • Janos Pasztor, WWF (Chair)
  • Mike Davis, IUCN
  • Dr Carlos Drews, WWF
  • Christiaan van der Hoeven, WWF
  • Victor Hugo Inchausty, IUCN
  • Aban Marker Kabraji, IUCN
  • Sybille Klenzendorf, WWF
  • Jane Smart, IUCN (Vice Chair)
  • Heather Sohl, WWF

History of TRAFFIC

traffic-offices-n-m-collins.jpgTRAFFIC's "Portacabin" offices in Cambridge, early 1980s © N M CollinsTRAFFIC was established as a specialist group of the IUCN Species Survival Commission in 1976, with the first TRAFFIC International office and TRAFFIC USA formed in 1979.

Further TRAFFIC offices were established as follows: UK (1980), East Africa (1980-82), Germany (1981), Japan (1982), Australia (1984), Netherlands (1984), Belgium (1984), Austria (1986-1990), Italy (1986) and France (1987), South America regional office (1985), TRAFFIC Oceania (1987), TRAFFIC Europe (1990), TRAFFIC Southeast Asia (1991), TRAFFIC India (1991), South Africa (1992), Taipei (1992), Tanzania (1992), Kenya (1996), TRAFFIC East Asia (1994), Russia (1995), Canada (1998), TRAFFIC South America (1999), Mexico (2000). TRAFFIC North America evolved into a regional TRAFFIC North America office in 1998, and the Viet Nam office evolved into a sub-regional Indochina office in 2001.

Some key moments in TRAFFIC's history

  • 1978: TRAFFIC completes a major study of trade in seal products.
  • 1979: TRAFFIC research on trade in skins of wild cats provokes intense discussions at the meeting of CITES Parties. TRAFFIC compiles a comprehensive overview of “International trade in wildlife”. The TRAFFIC Bulletin, the only international journal devoted exclusively to the wildlife trade issues, is launched.
  • 1983–4: the TRAFFIC Bulletin publishes major studies on Indian bird, elephant ivory, European seal skin and reptile skin trades.
  • 1986–88: TRAFFIC undertakes an extensive review of the implementation of EU wildlife trade regulations that leads ultimately to the emergence of a new EU law which is considered one of the most comprehensive in the world.
  • 1992: TRAFFIC develops the Bad Ivory Database System (BIDS) to hold worldwide records of ivory seizures and confiscations. In 1994 it becomes the Elephant Trade Information System (ETIS), and is adopted by CITES.
  • 1993: TRAFFIC publishes a review of the European medicinal plant trade, and begins to asses the impact of this trade on wild plant populations and local health care systems. Following an investigation by TRAFFIC, the largest seizure of tiger bones ever recorded is made in India: 283 kg tiger bones, 8 tiger skins and 60 leopard skins.
  • 1994: TRAFFIC publishes “Killed for a cure: a review of the worldwide trade in tiger bone”.
  • 1995: In response to an undercover TRAFFIC investigation, London Metropolitan Police seize several hundred traditional Chinese medicines purporting to contain endangered species in London, as part of “Operation Charm”.
  • 1996: TRAFFIC assists in investigations leading to arrests and seizures of ivory and shahtoosh shawls, in India. TRAFFIC publishes a review of the caviar trade from the Caspian Sea. A year later all sturgeon species are listed in the CITES Appendices.
  • 1997: TRAFFIC reviews rhinoceros trade control legislation and presents the results to CITES. Following a TRAFFIC tip-off, law enforcement officials seize 140 shawls in Hong Kong. The dealer receives the highest financial penalty ever for a single charge of violating Hong Kong's Animal and Plants Ordinance.
  • 1998: Following TRAFFIC research on medicines in Canada and the USA claiming to contain tiger and rhinoceros ingredients, the US Congress passes the Rhino and Tiger Product Labeling Act. Studies by TRAFFIC reveal a twentyfold increase in the live reptile trade in the US.
  • 1999: Celebrites join TRAFFIC in calling for an end to shahtoosh trade, following the release of a report entitled “Fashion statement spells death for Tibetan antelope”.
  • 2000: TRAFFIC assists with intelligence leading to the seizure of four tiger, 70 leopard and 221 blackbuck skins, and 18,000 leopard nails in India.
  • 2001: TRAFFIC completes a study on musk deer farming in China. TRAFFIC raises concerns over the exploitation of Patagonian and Antarctic Toothfish, particulalrly by illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) vessels.
  • 2002: TRAFFIC releases a report on European sports hunting revealing that most of the income it generates does not benefit the countries where it takes place. A joint WWF-TRAFFIC report reveals links between organised criminal gangs and illegal wildlife traffickers.
  • 2003: A TRAFFIC report details alarming levels of illegal trade in snow leopards parts, particularly pelts.
  • 2007: A major report into Tiger farming finds that legalizing the trade would create demand, leading to increased poaching of wild Tigers. At CITES CoP14, Parties adopt by concensus a Decision to ban the raising of captive tigers for trade, and China is urged to phase out its large-scale commercial tiger farms. Just prior to CITES CoP 14, TRAFFIC ETIS report reveals the alarming levels of ivory poaching and the link to organized crime.