The fight against corruption through the audit of the use of public resources and the fulfillment of the objectives of the States is one of the main tasks of the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAI).

Therefore, we invite you to carry out this consultation on the problems and solutions for the prevention of corruption in the illicit trafficking of flora and fauna. With your help we will create the Regional Action Plan for the Prevention of Corruption in the Illicit Trafficking of Species.

Regional Plan

Public resources are used by the States to meet various development goals, so their misuse is detrimental to all of us, including nature.

The public auditing carried out by Supreme Audit Institutions contributes to the fulfillment of the SDGs of the 2030 Agenda. Including goals 14 and 15 that seek to protect the harmony of our natural habitat.

SDG Goal #14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

The world’s oceans (their temperature, chemistry, currents and life) drive the global systems that make the Earth habitable for humans.

Precipitation, drinking water, climate, weather, coastlines, much of the food and even the oxygen in the air we breathe are provided and regulated by the sea. Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.

SDG Goal #15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Forests are home to more than 80% of terrestrial species of animals, plants and insects. Between 2010 and 2015, the world lost 3.3 million hectares of forest areas. Rural women depend on common resources and are particularly affected by their depletion.

Latin America is under constant threat to its megabiodiversity, due to wildlife illegal trafficking. Parrots, jaguars, fish, turtles, sharks, flowers, wood, among others, are stolen every day for consumption or as exotic pets. This affects the region’s ecosystem services and the livelihoods of several indigenous communities and operators who make a living from ecotourism activities. In addition, illegal trafficking of flora and fauna increases the risk of contracting zoonotic diseases, which can have dire consequences for human health.

To prevent this problem, States have signed multinational agreements such as CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, and Supreme Audit Institutions can verify compliance with these agreements by environmental authorities.

Biodiversity loss – Living Planet Report 1970-2018

The numbers indicate the total loss of biodiversity on each continent. By clicking, you will see a species that is a victim of illegal trafficking in the region.


Latin America and the Caribbean:

- Blue macaw
- Andean bear
- Andean condor
- Three-toed sloth
- Jaguar
- Yellow Lily


- Elephant
- Rhinoceros
- Lion
- Exotic Succulents


Europe and Central Asia:

- Tiger
- Snow Leopard
- Black bear
- Ferns


North America: 

- Sea otters
- Sea turtle
- Cayman
- Cactus


Asia Pacific:
- Pangolin
- Sharks
- Manta rays
- Subterranean orchid

Fuente de información del mapa haz click aquí


América Latina y el Caribe

- Guacamayo azul
- Oso andino
- Condor andino
- Perezoso de tres dedos
- Jaguar
- Azucena Amarilla



- Elefante
- Rinoceronte
- León
- Suculentas exóticas


Europa y Asia Central

- Tigre
- Leopardo de las nieves
- Oso negro
- Helechos



- Nutrias marinas
- Tortuga marina
- Caimán
- Cactus


Asia Pacífico

- Pangolín
- Tiburones
- Mantarrayas
- Orquídea subterránea

Why do we need to strengthen controls to prevent illegal trafficking of flora and fauna?

The illegal transit of flora and fauna involves different actors, both public and private. These actors make a profit in the process, whether it is the payment to the direct exploiter of the resource, or the benefits received by intermediaries, as well as the bribe received by the different officials involved for allowing or omitting acts inherent to their positions. This shows that corruption is immersed in each stage, and can occur in the extraction of the species, its transportation, export and/or sale.

Role of SAIs and areas of work preventing illegal trafficking of flora and fauna

Public institutions have an inescapable role in the prevention of species trafficking, however the responsibilities of SAIs are not the same as those of an environmental authority. In a research carried out together with the German Cooperation, through GIZ, these areas of work that SAIs can address were identified:

Execution of external audits

Verification of International Treaties

Citizen participation

In addition to these functions, some SAIs in the region receive and examine sworn declarations, an activity that is carried out by some SAIs in the region.

This verification is relevant to recognize a potential unjustified increase in assets of officials involved in the care of protected areas, customs agents, personnel of the Ministry of Environment in charge of the evaluation of rescued species, among others; which could indicate some link with illegal activities.

We need your help to identify the problems and possible solutions to prevent corruption in illegal species trafficking.

Now that you know more about the environmental impact of species trafficking and the role of SAIs in ensuring that the resources allocated to public institutions for the conservation of nature are well used, share your opinion and help prevent and combat illegal species trafficking!

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This refers to the illegal hunting, extermination or capture of fauna and flora without authorization. Park rangers in protected areas and the various environmental and control authorities are responsible for protecting, conserving and monitoring natural resources and are thus subject to oversight by the supreme audit institutions (SAI). See coordinated audit for Protected Areas.

Sometimes these people receive little training, have little equipment and have precarious work situations. This makes them an easy target for bribery and corruption related to illicit trafficking. SAIs have to verify that such authorities keep adequate records of the controls they perform and that they execute the financial resources received in an efficient manner.


After the flora and fauna have been captured, they need to be transported to the interior of the country to prepare them for export. This is done clandestinely, either with live or dead specimens in the case of animals, depending on their final destination and use.

The environmental police must carry out controls on the possession, import, transport, and final destination of wild flora and fauna. However, law enforcement officials may be bribed to allow such transport or to secure the release of arrested persons.


After the flora and fauna have been captured, they need to be transported to the interior of the country to prepare them for export. This is done clandestinely, either with live or dead specimens in the case of animals, depending on their final destination and use.

The environmental police must carry out controls on the possession, import, transport, and final destination of wild flora and fauna. However, law enforcement officials may be bribed to allow such transport or to secure the release of arrested persons.


At ports, airports and border crossings there are customs agents and control authorities in charge of verifying movement, import and export permits, thus ensuring compliance with international regulations and agreements such as CITES . Bribes are used to obtain false licenses and documentation, labeling products incorrectly to make them appear legal. See the research on a methodology to control legal exports, issued by OLACEFS and GIZ 

There are also bribes to customs and border officials to turn a blind eye to these mislabeled shipments or fraudulent and falsified documents. Similarly, bribes can be paid to avoid inspections, both to individuals and to transport companies, in order to avoid carrying out their surveillance duties.


The commercialization of wild flora and fauna can take place in public or private markets, in person or on virtual platforms. Sometimes for local, national and international consumption. Sellers can bribe local authorities to ignore the illegal sale of wildlife in public spaces. The case of e-commerce is recent; however, it also needs to be addressed by environmental police and other relevant authorities.

Execution of external audits

Execute different types of control activities such as specialized and performance audits to verify and evaluate efforts in the protection and conservation of natural protected areas and their flora and fauna species, as well as compliance with plans, programs, policies, standards and procedures, in order to detect deviations and identify possible corrective actions.

Verification of International Treaties

Verify compliance with and implementation of international instruments such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), which represent commitments of the utmost relevance in environmental matters.

Citizen participation

Involve civil society in the design of institutional recommendations aimed at improving the management and protection of natural resources, as well as the efficient reception of citizen complaints of illegal capture and trade of endangered wildlife species, with the objective of identifying corruption networks in public entities.

Trabajo interinstitucional

Facilitar el trabajo interinstitucional, donde organismos gubernamentales y no gubernamentales relacionados con el combate al tráfico ilícito de especies puedan identificar las falencias de su control, así como compartir experiencias y buenas prácticas en la lucha contra la corrupción.


Inter-institutional work

Facilitate inter-institutional work, where governmental and non-governmental organizations involved in combating illicit trafficking in species can identify shortcomings in their control, as well as share experiences and best practices in the fight against corruption.