Chapter 27: Transnational environmental crime: more than an enforcement problem
Transnational environmental crime is a problem of serious concern to governments and policymakers globally. High-level actions and initiatives, particularly in the field of illegal wildlife trade, have aimed to provide a formidable law enforcement response to illegal harvest and international wildlife trade. Governments are encouraged to take regulatory, enforcement and judicial actions to prevent wildlife trafficking (Resolution 2013/40). Political commitments such as those adopted at the February 2014 London Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade and the follow-up conference in Kasane, Botswana, in March 2015, have outlined actions to be implemented urgently not just through strengthening law enforcement but also by increasing legal deterrents, reducing demand for illegal wildlife products and engaging local communities in efforts to address illegal wildlife trade through commitments to sustainable livelihoods and economic development (Kasane Conference 2015). Despite this acknowledgement of the need for multiple and varied interventions, the poaching crisis is still met with a predominantly law enforcement-focused response. For example, of the _5 million commitment made by the UK government to address illegal wildlife trade in 2014, the majority of funds have been invested in projects focused primarily on improving law enforcement (DEFRA 2014). Hundreds of millions of dollars are being invested in progressively militarized anti-poaching measures more broadly (Duffy and Humphreys 2014), especially in highly affected areas such as sub-Saharan Africa, where key target species such as elephant and rhino are found. Much less attention has been given to measures to reduce consumer demand for illegal wildlife products or to engage with local communities living alongside wildlife.
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