Wildlife Trade, a part of transnational organized crime, is a multibillion-dollar industry that must be combated with comprehensive and enforceable laws. Following the trade chain and flow of finances, the topic is ultimately regulated by a wide variety of legal instruments from constitutions to anti-money laundering laws, to protected areas, hunting, endangered species, and trade specific legislation. Legal Atlas researches and strives to provide access to this entire set, identifying key content and showing how laws relate to the entire trade chain. Full or partial sets have been completed for 60+ countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
in collaboration with or funded by:
WILDLIFE TRADE PROJECTS
WILDS (Wildlife in Indonesia: Loss, Damage & Sanctions): Valuing the damage of illegal wildlife trade to inform lawsuits
Lead organization and researcher: Dr. Jacob Phelps at Lancaster Environment Center
Sponsored by: DEFRA IWT Challenge Grant, 2018-2020
This innovative project, lead by Dr. Jacob Phelps at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, will look at how sanctions against IWT can better reflect the injuries to society (for example, on livelihoods, biodiversity, and culture). Legal Atlas will support the research through its legal intelligence platform enabling the rapid and comprehensive compilation and comparison of sanctions applicable to illegal wildlife trade, as well as the evidence based development of international “best practices” standards. In Indonesia, the lead researcher will work with experts and government officials to review sanctions, and provide expertise to quantify the costs of this illegal trade on society. The project aims to apply these to a first-of-a-kind civil liability suit to hold perpetrators of the illegal trade in wildlife financially responsible for environmental harm.
Legis-Ape: Illegal Wildlife Trade in Great Apes and Gibbons
Sponsored by the Arcus Foundation, Jan 2018 - Dec 2019
A legal assessment, based on a systematic analysis of international and national legislation, in support of Arcus’ efforts towards the conservation and protection of great apes and gibbons. The analysis will not only help identify internal gaps and conflicts, and the level of compliance with existing international obligations, but will also help highlight existing opportunities to support enforcement and prosecution strategies, including novel approaches that may be available, for example, in trade related legislation.
Preliminary results to be presented at CITES Animals Committee Meeting in Geneva on July 17th, 2018.
Catch Me If You Can: Legal challenges to illicit wildlife trafficking over the internet (forthcoming July 2018)
Sponsored by GITOC, May-June 2018
This policy brief is the last in a three-part series entitled Digital Dangers published by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime (GITOC). This part in the series was prepared by Legal Atlas, LLC on behalf of GITOC. The brief draws on three main sources for its analysis. The first is a database of wildlife-trade-related legislation being developed by Legal Atlas soon to be published in its legal intelligence platform. In addition, the authors also considered current developments, trends and challenges as discussed by members of the CITES Working Group on Wildlife Cybercrime, of which Legal Atlas is also a member. Finally, a broad range of articles were reviewed analyzing the jurisdictional challenges of cybercrime generally, as well as the specifics associated with online IWT.
Authors: James Wingard, JD, co-founder and legal director, Legal Atlas; Maria Pascual, MSc, co-founder and director, Legal Atlas.
Reviewers: Amanda Rude, JD, senior analyst, Legal Atlas; Simone Haysom, senior analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime; Tania McCrea-Steele, project lead, Global Wildlife Cybercrime, International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).
Silent Steppe II - Field Survey and Report on Wildlife Trade
Working on behalf of the Zoological Society of London, members of the Legal Atlas team conducted a comprehensive field survey of wildlife trade in Mongolia, resulting in a extensive report, Silent Steppe II: Mongolia's Wildlife Trade Crisis, Ten Years Later. The project is a sequel to the most comprehensive IWT study conducted in Mongolia to date, Silent Steppe.
This study used the survey methods and data collected during the first Silent Steppe study to further investigate the trends in IWT in Mongolia. In addition to field surveys and numerous key informant interviews, Legal Atlas conducted a desk-based review of Mongolia’s existing wildlife-related laws and drafted a list of needed amendments. An assessment will be conducted by ZSL training team focusing on the Border Agency and Mongolian State Policy. Training will then be provided, to include things such as IWT product recognition and the use of sniffer dogs. ZSL will develop a more user friendly customs database that will help provide a clear picture of international border trade and help identify key hotspots to improve law enforcement.
Compilation of Wildlife Trade Laws in Africa
Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda - 2015
Working with the International Conservation Caucus Foundation (ICCF) and the Conservation Council of Nations (CCN), Legal Atlas conducted research into wildlife trade related laws for four countries in Africa.
Tasks involved: (1) identifying and cataloguing laws relevant to prosecuting wildlife crimes; and (2) identifying relevant differences in prosecuting wildlife crimes or crimes
Wildlife Trade Legislation
Coverage: See Wildlife Trade in the Topics Menu
Initially sponsored by the Asian Development Bank to support the Asian Judges Network for the Environment, this project compiled and assessed frameworks for wildlife trade legislation for later publication in the Legal Atlas platform.
The research centered around: (1) compilation of related national and international legislation; (2) legal analyses including identification of relevant provisions and brief overviews for each law; (3) design of visual analytics to synthesize legal findings; (4) presentation of research results to international delegates at CITES conference in Bangkok (Thailand); (5) participation in focus groups with members of the Asian Judges Network for the Environment to understand wildlife trade challenges in each country.