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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Criminal justice, wildlife conservation and animal rights in the Anthropocene [CRIMEANTROP].

Alternative title: Forvaltning, mangel på beskyttelse og beskyttelse av ville dyr i Antropocen, menneskets tidsalder [CRIMEANTROP].

Awarded: NOK 10.2 mill.

Project Number:

289285

Application Type:

Project Period:

2019 - 2023

Location:

Partner countries:

CRIMEANTHROP explores the regulation, rationale behind and enforcement of wildlife conservation, the normative and socio-legal messages of this enforcement, and their implications for wildlife conservation and individual animal welfare. This is explored from interdisciplinary grounded theoretical and methodological angles, stemming from and further contributing towards, developing an innovative an emergent strand of international criminology; green criminology. Political scientist Christoph Stefes has done fieldwork in Germany, law scholar, Teresa Fajardo del Castillo, has done fieldwork in Spain, criminologist, Tanya Wyatt has done fieldwork in the UK and in Norway, criminologists Ragnhild Sollund, PhD candidate Martine Lie, and legal scholar and criminologist David R. Goyes do the research for the Norwegian case study. Norway is the primary site of investigation, with UK, Germany, and Spain as supporting case studies. The research team all empirically and theoretically explore the implementation of CITES (The convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora) and the Bern Convention in the four locations, building on and expanding green criminology scholarship. Policies and regulations of CITES and the Bern Convention and their impact concerning wildlife trade and human management of endangered predator species have been examined in the four countries. The approaches enables us to present a comprehensive analysis of contemporary wildlife management, human-animal relations and animal rights. Qualitative methodologies; interviews with politicians and bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies, such as the police, customs and the Food Safety Authority, as well as with NGOs, are employed in each case country. Which agencies are interviewed depended on the political organization of wildlife management, local specific features, socio-legal conditions and the existence of relevant NGOs in each country. Data collection has been concluded in all case studies. CITES and the Bern Convention, national preparatory works, legislation and case law have been subject to discourse analysis (Goyes 2021). Findings show these conventions are based on a Cartesian theorisation and that economic concerns are prioritized. The practical consequence is that these two examples of International Environmental Law determine a distribution of social goods that foregrounds profit while denying rights and liberties to wildlife. Lie (2021) found three types of illegal large predator theriocides (animal murders) have been detected through analysis of verdicts, which can be categorized as organized hunts, self defense, and 'accidental' theriocides explained by the accused as mishaps. Moreover, similarities are found between these offences and legal large predator hunts regarding actors, aims and methods. The results so far further indicate that the conventions do not meet expectations and their mandate. In Norway, research on the implementation and enforcement of CITES shows that enforcement is inadequate and low priority. It is also paradoxical: It is established practice to euthanize animals of endangered species who are seized on Norwegian borders. In Germany, as in Norway, the legislation is in place, but too much is left to the discretion of the individual control actors and their inadequate knowledge in the field, resulting in under enforcement. Despite the fact that the large predators are protected through the Bern Convention, the obligations of the countries are not satisfactorily fulfilled under the Convention. At the same time as the Bern Convention has opened up for the re-establishment of wolves, the wolf is not welcome and affects the policies pursued in the different countries associated with the Convention. In Spain, the wolf is recently protected throughout the country, but court proceedings have been announced to counteract the protection. If the conventions give an ambiguous message, fail to educate the population and in protecting wild animals, then they and the species they belong to are further endangered, and the anthropogenic extinction is amplified. This happens when wolf hunting is licensed and exceptions are constantly granted from conservation. This is discussed in the article Wildlife Management, Species Injustice and Ecocide in the Anthropocene, in Critical Criminology (Sollund 2019).

CRIMEANTROP will explore the regulation, rationale behind and enforcement of wildlife conservation, the normative and socio-legal messages of this enforcement, and their implications for wildlife conservation and individual animal welfare. This will be explored from interdisciplinary grounded theoretical and methodological angles, stemming from and further contribute towards, developing an innovative and emergent strand of international criminology; green criminology. These approaches will jointly enable us to present a comprehensive analysis of contemporary wildlife management, human-animal relations and animal rights. To this end, policies and regulations of CITES and the Bern Convention and their impact concerning wildlife trade and human management of endangered predator species will be examined in four countries with different, local, and socio-legal conditions: Norway, as primary site of investigation, with UK, Germany and Spain as supporting case studies. Qualitative methodologies; interviews with politicians and bureaucrats, law enforcement agencies and NGOs (e.g. WWF, IFAW) will be employed in each case country. CITES and the Bern Convention, national preparatory works, legislation and case law will be subject to discourse analysis. We will empirically and theoretically explore the implementation of CITES and the Bern Convention in the four locations, building on and expanding green criminology scholarship through interdisciplinary approaches from law, political science, criminology, and philosophy. If the implications of CRIMEANTROP's hypotheses prove true; that the messages conveyed by the conventions are ambiguous; failing to educate about and protect endangered species; and that individual and species protection is insufficiently integrated into member states' conservation approaches resulting in continued exploitation and abuse, then endangered wildlife and species survival are further threatened; the anthropogenic species extinction strengthened.

Publications from Cristin

Funding scheme:

FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam