This is an update on the progress made on the research project by February 2021.
WP2.1: Case study–Norway: Wildlife trafficking: Control, enforcement and species justice
Conducted by Professor Ragnhild Sollund
The analysis of the data collected for the WP2.1 is currently being analysed. The data consist in 19 interviews with law enforcement authorities and seizure reports from Customs from the last three years. These data add to data collected for previous research, thus providing a longitudinal approach to investigate the development of law enforcement of wildlife trafficking in Norway, covering a decade of research. Preliminary findings suggest priority of CITES crimes are still wanting and that the policy by the Norwegian CITES enforcement agency of ordering the euthanizing of confiscated animals is proceeding.
WP2.2: Case study–Norway: Legal and moral foundations of CITES and Bern conventions: Priorities, conflicts and ambiguities.
Conducted by Post.doc. David Rodriguez Goyes
The national and local phases are in progress. For the national stage, Goyes analyses the legislative process by which the Bern Convention and CITES were adopted into Norwegian legislation. The Bern Convention was transformed into the Natural Diversity Act; meanwhile, CITES incorporated via the CITES regulation. The consequential question Goyes is exploring deals with the sociopolitical processes that determined the former be nationally adopted via transformation, while the latter to be directly incorporated. For this task, Goyes relies on the diversity of registries of preliminary legislative discussions around the issuing of said laws. Regarding the local phase, Goyes is interviewing NGOs (#6), practitioners (#4), and political parties (#5) to investigate how they interpret and apply CITES and the Bern Convention in their everyday work. The preliminary findings show that NGOs do not use international conventions in their daily work and that practitioners and political parties prioritise other guiding principles over those offered by international law.
WP 2.3: Case study–Norway: Large predator management versus the intrinsic value of animals
PhD candidate Lie is well underway with the data collection. Lie has collected all relevant verdicts and interviewed representatives from the Norwegian National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime and environmental and animal protection NGOs. She is also observing court cases between such NGOs and the Government regarding wolf hunting decisions. The first article–a discourse analysis of the collected verdicts on illegal hunts–is scheduled for spring 2021.
WP3: The implementation and enforcement of CITES and the Bern Convention in UK, Germany, and Spain (Three case studies)
WP 3.1: Case study–The implementation and enforcement of CITES and the Bern Convention in the UK.
Conducted by Professor Tanya Wyatt
For the UK case study, eight interviews with law enforcement, government officials, and NGOs have been completed. A Freedom of Information request has been answered providing an overview of some the relevant criminal cases. A copy of the court case to the European Court for violation of the Bern Convention due to the ongoing Badger cull has also be obtained. The CITES implementation reports for the UK have also been gathered. One draft article is undergoing revisions before being submitted hopefully by April 2021.
WP 3.2: Case study–The implementation and enforcement of CITES and the Bern Convention in Germany.
Conducted by Professor Christoph Stefes.
With almost a dozen interviews completed and secondary sources assessed, the case study on Germany is nearing the end of the data-gathering stage. Numerous state officials, NGO representatives, politicians, and experts have been interviewed. A common message has emerged from these interviews, further supported by secondary sources: Germany has passed comprehensive legislation for the protection of endangered species and the promotion of biodiversity. The key problem is that Germany's federal structure hampers the enforcement of these laws
WP 3.3: Case study–The implementation and enforcement of CITES and the Bern Convention in Spain.
Associate Professor Teresa Fajardo. The jurisprudence and the main operations of the Spanish security forces, Europol and Interpol on CITES and wildlife trafficking in Spain over the last 10 years have been compiled. The CITES reports for Spain have also been gathered. The EU Action Plan against wildlife trafficking has been implemented in Spain through a national plan that adapts it to the specific capacities and circumstances of its profile as a country of origin, transit and destination of global and European trafficking. The reports compiled on its implementation and the interviews carried out so far show the increase in international cooperation and the improvement of the conditions of confiscated animals that could be considered as good practices. On the negative side, the low level of criminal and administrative sanctions imposed, which cannot be considered as dissuasive in accordance with the Environmental Crime Directive incorporating the mandate foreseen in Article 8 of the CITES Convention, stands out.