The UN's Lone Ranger tells of law enforcement and diplomacy. It is also the first book, written from an international perspective, about a subject that warrants much greater attention, if the world's most threatened species are to be safeguarded for future generations. John Sellar describes why organized crime has turned to robbing nations, especially in the developing world, of their animals and plants and how this is bringing several species to the brink of extinction. It illustrates, in words and images, how criminal networks recruit, equip and direct poachers and wildlife contraband couriers; arrange the smuggling of species and products, often involving transportation across many borders and several continents; use bribery and violence against law enforcement personnel; and the nature of the markets in which illegal-origin wildlife is being consumed.
Sellar, once described as 'the world's leading authority on wildlife crime', also reflects frankly, and sometimes critically, on his service as a UN official, the way in which national law enforcement bodies are reacting to these crimes and the support provided by international agencies. He identifies what he believes are significant gaps in the current responses and suggests ways in which they might be plugged. He recounts several of his incredible experiences; visiting anti-poaching officers on the roof of the world, the Tibetan Plateau, and bizarre late-night hospitality from KGB officers.
Until 2011, John M. Sellar was the most senior law enforcement official operating transnationally to combat wildlife crime. Following his secondment from the Scottish police Force as Chief of Enforcement to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), he was labeled by the media as 'The UN's Lone Ranger'. His duties took him to more than 60 countries, involving 2 million kilometers of travel over the course of 14 years.