Conservationists say animal trafficking is reaching unprecedented levels and species such as rhinos, elephants and tigers are under threat of extinction.
The aim of the meeting, hosted by the Zoological Society of London, is to find new ways to protect animals and reduce demand for wildlife products.
An action plan will be fed into another meeting hosted by the UK government.
This will take place on Thursday at Lancaster House, with international leaders gathering to discuss a global response to animal poaching.
They will be joined by Prince Charles and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. They have jointly released a video campaign urging people to “unite for wildlife”.
Prof Jonathan Baillie, director of conservation at the Zoological Society of London (ZSL), said: “It’s clear that illegal wildlife trafficking is completely out of control, and we need to bring the best minds together to really identify some clear solutions and show clear leadership and direction.”
He has organised the two-day conference with other NGOs, which include the Wildlife Conservation Society, WWF, Traffic and Conservation International.
Wildlife poaching has seen a recent boom, and it is worth an estimated £12bn ($19bn) each year.
Via – 21st Century Tiger