Posts Tagged ‘smuggling’

Designer Poaching Up, Messenger Shot

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

An interesting piece on increased wildlife trade in today’s New York Times.  It is useful to know that rising incomes in Asia are increasing wildlife trade.  But there is a bit of a bait and switch here:  We get very concrete data on the income rise in China from a Credit Suisse study but we get none on wildlife trade.  It would have been a better story if the author had included concrete data to support the proposition that the animal trade is on the rise.  Instead she writes: “Figures are hard to come by, as only select species can be closely monitored. But here are a couple of examples to illustrate the scale of some the population declines…”

Data on illegal trade is not “hard to come by,” it doesn’t exist.  No one is even close to quantifying the illegal (more…)

Operation Spiderman

Saturday, December 4th, 2010

German arrested for smuggling tarantulas to the US in Operation Spiderman.  It reminded me of one of my spidey adventures with Brian and a cobalt blue….

Wildlife Crime Police Expand Scope

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Here’s some new developments in international environmental law enforcement worth paying attention to.  First, earlier this month INTERPOL’s General Assembly voted unanimously in favor of a resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts to stem environmental crimes.  This may sound like diplo-speak for more nothing, but it is a necessary step to Interpol’s Environmental Programme moving forward.  I was at Interpol HQ for talks in Lyon, France earlier this year.  The program has a lot of potential and offers a fairly neutral forum to address transnational environmental crime, but it is so poorly funded it relies on a couple of NGOs for its budget.

The second development is the new International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) “eye-kwik,” which will bring together INTERPOL, CITES, World Customs, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank into a new effort.  These are key international institutions related to wildlife and crime but ICCWC is yet another committee and the word “wildlife” tends to yield next to no money/government commitment when it comes to crime.  It remains to be seen what the group will produce.  An alternative might have been to step up authority for INTERPOL’s environmental programme without creating a new entity. 

ICWCC is touted in this linked story as an alternative to ASEAN’s wildlife enforcement network, criticized here for not taking down the real Mister Bigs of SE Asia.  WEN could certainly do more, but it has made progress.  And that is more than most wildlife trade bodies can say. 

Check out Azrina Abdullah’s excellent comment below: