Policy Responses to Transnational Wildlife Crime in the Asia-Pacific: Part 2: Policy Responses at the National Level and Preliminary Gap Analysis
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TEC Working Paper 2/2013
Dylan Horne, ‘Policy Responses to Transnational Wildlife Crime in the Asia-Pacific: Part 2: Policy Responses at the National Level and Preliminary Gap Analysis’, TEC Working Paper 2/2013, Canberra: Transnational Environmental Crime Project, Department of International Relations, Australian National University, April 2013.
Transnational Wildlife Crime (wildlife crime) involves the trading and smuggling across borders of species in violation of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). Globally, governments and international organisations have responded to the challenges of transnational environmental crime (TEC) in both operational and policy contexts. The policy context is defined as the suite of documents, plans, programs, regulatory schemes, and strategies that provide for a coordinated, coherent response to, and support for, the fight against wildlife crime. Current knowledge of the aforementioned policy context is poor. This paper is the second of two research papers intended to provide a preliminary analysis of the current wildlife crime policy context and its effectiveness. This paper contains a summary of existing wildlife crime policy responses in six Asia-Pacific countries: Australia, Fiji, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Thailand and Vietnam. These national-level policy responses were determined through desktop investigation of freely-available online material. The policy responses were then compared to four potential optimal policy requirements (identified in Part 1, Horne 2013), and a preliminary assessment conducted on the degree to which the potential optimal requirements are met. A number of related observations were also made. It is difficult to conclude that existing policy responses fulfil the requirement of being proactive. Policy responses generally tend to satisfy the multifaceted requirement, particularly in those countries where the existing policy response is relatively well developed, although some areas for improvement may exist. Policy responses generally tend to satisfy the multilateral requirement in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and Vietnam, but not in Fiji or PNG. While it was not possible to evaluate fully whether existing policy responses fulfil the monitoring and evaluation requirement, it appears that it may be less than ideal. Some possible reasons for the perceived shortcomings include lack of technological capability and appropriate data collection, inappropriate measures of success, organisational culture, a lack of sufficient implementation of measures that specifically target criminals, and ineffective operation of networks at the officer level.
About the author
Dylan Horne is currently employed as a Senior Compliance Officer in the TEC Project‘s partner organisation, the Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. Dr Horne‘s experience in this role has included policy development, and operational compliance and enforcement under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.