Handbook of Transnational Environmental Crime
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Handbook of Transnational Environmental Crime

Edited by Lorraine Elliott and William H. Schaedla

Crimes associated with the illegal trade in wildlife, timber and fish stocks, pollutants and waste have become increasingly transnational, organized and serious. They warrant attention because of their environmental consequences, their human toll, their impacts on the rule of law and good governance, and their links with violence, corruption and a range of crossover crimes. This ground-breaking, multi-disciplinary Handbook brings together leading scholars and practitioners to examine key sectors in transnational environmental crime and to explore its most significant conceptual, operational and enforcement challenges.
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Chapter 18: Witnessing WENs: origins and future directions

William H. Schaedla and Samir Sinha


Regional Wildlife Enforcement Networks (WENs) have gained increasing prominence over the past decade as mechanisms for addressing transnational wildlife crime. These initiatives vary somewhat in scope, function and structure, but are consistent in their stated objectives. All are founded on the idea that single agency, single country approaches are insufficient in an age when illicit wildlife supply chains span the globe. WENs aspire to create mechanisms for better enforcement cooperation between nations. They also include provisions for improved inter-agency cooperation within their participating countries. Because of their focus on conservation issues, most WENs are heavily invested with input from non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Engagement by international conservation groups has been important to their creation, functionality and funding. Many WENs would not exist, or would fail to function, in the absence of civil society inputs. Less evident is the fact that the WENs’ development has also been influenced by a set of American foreign policy and aid delivery objectives. Their conceptual and practical origins can be linked to US government promotion of networking as a strategy against wildlife crime.

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