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Table 13.3: Summary of assessment criteria: Project Predator case study Criterion Description


Success or failure Success refers to empirical evidence of animal parts seized. In 2015, officials organized Operation PAWS (Protection of Asian Wildlife Species) across 17 countries. This led to the arrest of more than 300 wildlife criminals and revealed the location of four wildlife crime fugitives. Officers seized 6 tiger skins and parts, more than 150 common and clouded leopard skins and parts, including 12 big-cat skins, more than 9 tonnes of ivory, 37 rhino horns, more than 2,000 turtles and reptiles, 282 pangolins, 5 tonnes of pangolin meat, and 275 kg of pangolin scales.


Independence of evaluation


Key actors


To our knowledge, no formal evaluation of Project Predator has taken place. However, a recent study by the independent wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC emphasizes the need to share intelligence among range States and the potentially helpful role of INTERPOL.


Project Predator’s main funders include the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Government, Environment Canada, the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Smithsonian, USAID and the Global Tiger Initiative. The latter is an umbrella organization formed in 2008 by the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility, the Smithsonian and the Save the Tiger Fund. It is related in turn to the International Tiger Coalition, which comprises some 40 NGOs in 13 tiger range countries. The CITES Secretariat is a formal partner.


Baseline Time frame


Constraining factors


Wild tiger populations have fallen from over 100,000 at the start of the 20th century to less than 4,000 today.


Operation Predator was established in 2011. Funding is expected to continue into the 2020s.


Corruption at all levels continues to be a problem, as does the inability to establish environmental crime as a punishable offence in many countries. The transnational environmental crime networks involved in wildlife trafficking are powerful, and their crossover illicit activities are believed to include human trafficking, drug and arms smuggling, money- laundering and extortion.


Enabling factors


International outrage over the fate of wild tiger and snow leopard populations related to the charismatic nature of these iconic species was a motivating factor. Intelligent policing and the introduction of new tracking technology was essential. Since establishing an Environmental Crime Committee in 1992, INTERPOL has become an active agent in efforts to curb and punish transnational environmental crime.


Cost-effectiveness Not conducted yet Equity


Problematically, the low-income poacher often assumes the brunt of legal prosecution, while the enriched ‘middle man’ or purchaser of illicit wildlife trade escapes (including developed nations (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America) which continue to trade in ‘legal’ wildlife when sources are often hard to identify) (Nelson 2017).


Co-benefits


Transboundary issues


Possible improvements


Big cats are central to ecosystem resilience and biodiversity, so their protection is beneficial to everyone who relies on related ecosystem services. The enhancement of judicial systems through National Environmental Security Taskforces is another main co-benefit.


Wildlife trafficking involves a wide variety of international actors, and INTERPOL is unable to monitor them all. Ultimately, the success of anti-poaching efforts will depend on the capacity of national governments to monitor their own borders in a corruption-free context, and to impose serious punishment on offenders.


More information is needed on the impact of INTERPOL’s interventions and National Environmental Security Taskforces. More accurate tracking of big cat populations would be helpful across the range States. More local community involvement is needed.


Command and control strategies have historically dominated efforts to promote environmental protection. However, they face difficulties in terms of a lack of human resources and local participation (Harrington, Morgenstern and Sterner 2004; Laitos and Wolongevicz 2014). Though CCPs have their fair share of demerits, they may be highly pertinent in situations where critically endangered species and habitats are at stake and their loss is imminent (see Section 6.4.4). For instance, the relaxation of land clearing regulations and


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enforcement has led to increased forest loss, particularly in remnant forests (Marcos-Martinez et al. 2018). The challenge lies in greater integration of local communities in both the design and implementation phases (Paavola, Gouldson and Kluvánková‐Oravská 2009). Adequate, power-neutral consultation of different stakeholders during policy design, and regular monitoring and adaptation could help improve the effectiveness of CCPs for biodiversity conservation. In the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,


Thinley et al. 2018 References INTERPOL 2015


Stoner et al. 2016


United States Agency for International Development [USAID] 2016


Goodrich et al. 2015


330 Policies, Goals, Objectives and Environmental Governance: An assessment of their effectiveness


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