copy the linklink copied!Annex B. Evaluative Assumptions for Analysing Institutional Capacities to Counter Illegal Wildlife Trade

No set of practises can provide a one-size-fits-all solution to combat the illegal wildlife trade. The desk research, literature review and discussions with relevant experts in law enforcement, do provide a number of good practises that could be tailored to local circumstances. From these good practises, a set of evaluative metrics can be established for the purpose of setting a baseline against which country and regional performance can be measured. The following assumptions are key elements in the analytical assessments for this report:

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: Multi-stakeholder engagement is preferable to unilateral action

In most cases, the involvement of a number of relevant agencies can be considered to be better that the engagement of a single entity. Broadly speaking, multiple agencies have more expertise, more investigative capacities and add more transparency to a given process. Indicators of success are the existence of multi-agency task forces; the number of relevant agencies involved; their use and operationalisation (successful investigations and prosecutions).

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: International Co-operation is more effective in tackling illegal wildlife trade than single-country enforcement

Illegal wildlife trade is facilitated by transnational organized crime. The co-ordination among relevant law enforcement agencies from other countries in the illegal wildlife trade and value chain is necessary to ensure a more comprehensive upstream and downstream investigation into the crimes in question. Performance measurements for this would be the number of reported engagements or joint-operations with international counterparts, and the number of times information exchange pathways have been used for illegal wildlife trade.

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: Prosecuting the wildlife trafficking alone is not as effective as sanctions for which wildlife crime or smuggling is a predicate crime

This assumption is based on the documented fact that wildlife trafficking remains a high-reward low-risk crime. This is based on the knowledge that convictions using specific wildlife trafficking laws are either i) difficult to assure if standalone crimes; or ii) too weak (in sentencing and in financial penalty) to deter criminal acts for illegal wildlife trade. Performance metrics for this would be the number of other ancillary parallel investigations or prosecutions for crimes such as money laundering, corruption, or smuggling that have taken place using other legal frameworks beyond the predicate offense (such as violations of the more narrow wildlife protection laws).

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: A strong legal framework with well-implemented laws is more effective than a set of laws with gaps or overlaps

Criminal organisations and consumers alike are affected by the risk and reward of committing crimes and purchasing illegal wildlife products. This assumption is also based on the principle that if there is a way for illegal wildlife trade to appear legal, consumers will prefer to consume in apparent legal channels, and consumption of illegal wildlife trade will increase. Consequently, where legal gaps and loopholes in enforceability of laws exist, there will be more consumption, sales and poaching. Measures and performance metrics would be the number and range of efforts undertaken by governments to close identified or known loopholes, or to act in a way to enforce existing laws (i.e. to move from de jure to de facto).

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: Anti-corruption measures are an important tool to combat wildlife trafficking

Corruption risks play an important role in the illegal wildlife trade chain. For countries where it is identified as a problem, the involvement of anti-corruption agencies suggests that illegal wildlife trade is taken more seriously and with greater intent to charge offenders with a broader range of crimes. Anti-corruption legislation can enhance deterrence capabilities to prevent the involvement of public officials in illegal wildlife trade crimes. It is difficult to measure performance in absolute terms for anti-corruption efforts. Indicators of success could be: the involvement of anti-corruption agencies in illegal wildlife trade task forces or investigations, the number of anti-corruption cases and convictions, and the use of anti-corruption guidelines in vulnerable agencies can be interpreted as good measures.

copy the linklink copied!Assumption: ‘Follow the money’ approaches to illegal wildlife trade are an effective tool to counter illegal wildlife trade

Wildlife crime is considered a high reward, low-risk crime. While there are few cases of anti-money laundering or asset seizures and forfeitures relating to wildlife crime, the use of follow the money approaches is useful both for investigative purposes and for the goal of enhancing the weight of penalties: Following the money can help investigators to make connections with transnational criminal groups; asset seizure, and money laundering charges can increase the penalties by increasing the size of fines and sentence lengths. To measure the performance of this, it is necessary to identify the number of cases of illegal wildlife trade that have either engaged relevant financial intelligence authorities or that have included asset seizures or prosecutions for money laundering.

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Annex B. Evaluative Assumptions for Analysing Institutional Capacities to Counter Illegal Wildlife Trade