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Is CITES Endangered?

Liz Rasheed*

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I. Introduction: What is Illicit Wildlife Trafficking?

Illicit wildlife trafficking refers to “any environment-related crime that involves the illegal trade, smuggling, poaching, capture or collection of endangered species, protected wildlife (including animals and plants that are subject to harvest quotas and regulated by permits), derivatives or products thereof.”[1] Many species are targeted by specific international markets, while some are targeted by a multiplicity of markets. For example, tigers are sold live as exotic pets, yet skinned for rugs, while their bones are sold for “medicinal” uses in Asia.[2] Many reptiles and amphibians are commonly targeted for the exotic pet trade, as are primates and tropical birds.[3] Still others are being driven to extinction due to their perception as “fine cuisine” in certain markets.[4] Most notably, illicit animal-derived goods, such as ivory carvings, animal-skin rugs, and taxidermy mountings are seen as status symbols in many parts of the world, and the existence of a market for “canned hunting” of endangered animals on private game reserves makes it increasingly easy for illicit trafficking syndicates to launder illegally poached hides under the façade of legal hunts.[5]

The growth of e-commerce in the global marketplace has made facilitation of illegal transactions increasingly efficient for would-be consumers while protecting their anonymity, and has thus made effective prosecution increasingly difficult. The International Fund for Animal Welfare found in a recent study that the number of online advertisements for CITES Appendix I-listed species in China alone had increased by 279 percent in the past six years, jumping from 544 advertisements identified in 2008 to 2,106 in 2014.[6] Furthermore, the widespread use of social media seems to have facilitated new means of contact between buyers and sellers.[7]

II. Combating Wildlife Trafficking through International Law: CITES

The primary international legal tool for combating poaching and trade in endangered wildlife is the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).[8] CITES imposes procedural requirements on the import and export of certain species to enhance both the traceability of legal trade and the enforceability of illegal trafficking. It functions by listing species of wild plants and animals considered threatened by international trade in one of three Appendices. Appendix I lists the most critically endangered animal and plant species; international trade in these species is prohibited except for very limited noncommercial purposes. To demonstrate that applicable conditions have been met (e.g. scientific purpose, legal obtainment, humane transport), both export and import permits are required. Appendix II lists species that are “not necessarily threatened with extinction” but “may become so unless trade in specimens is subject to strict regulation in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival.” International trade in these species is authorized through grants of export permits or re-export certificates by relevant domestic authorities, who are charged with ensuring that the trade is in compliance with CITES. Though CITES does not require import permits on these species, domestic laws, such as the Lacey Act in the United States, may.[9] If a country already regulates trade in a certain species but determines that it needs the cooperation of other countries to prevent significant or illegal exploitation of that species, it may request that the species be listed under Appendix III, which requires export permits to be presented any time the listed species is exported from the requesting State and a certificate of origin when the species is exported from any other member States.  Export permits issued in accordance with CITES are only valid for a maximum of six months, and a separate permit is required for each consignment of specimens.[10]

The Conference of the Parties (CoP) meets every two to three years and is responsible for amending the Appendices. Amendments enter into force after 90 days for all parties who have not entered formal reservations.[11] Parties may take a reservation to any new Appendix I or II listing so long as that reservation is registered within 90 days,[12] and reservations to Appendix III listings may be taken at any time.[13]

III. The Modern Poaching Problem

A. The Current Crisis

On the ground, failures throughout the CITES system are reflected in the plummeting populations of multiple endangered animal species which the Convention specifically sought to protect. For example, in the mid-1970s, shortly after the signing of CITES in the mid-1970s, Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve was home to over 100,000 elephants.[14] As of late 2013, only 13,000 could be found on the reserve.[15] It is estimated that at least 96 more African elephants are killed every day.[16] Illegal ivory trade increased by nearly 300 percent globally between 1998 and 2011;[17] raw data from ivory seizures in 2013 suggest that more ivory was seized that year than in any year since at least the late 1980s.[18]

Similarly, in 2014, the illegal rhino horn trade reached its highest levels since the early 1990s.[19] In South Africa, where over 80 percent of African rhinos reside, the incidence of rhino poaching increased by 7,000 percent between 2007 and 2013.[20] The western black rhinoceros was declared extinct only three years ago, and the northern white rhinoceros[21] has now reached its tipping point,[22] as has the Javan rhinoceros.[23] One subspecies, the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros, was declared extinct in 2010 after the last remaining individual was found dead and missing its horn.[24]

While ivory is prized for its beauty and durability, rhinoceros horn is usually ground up and used in Chinese medicine.[25] Rhinoceros horn is primarily keratin, and none of its alleged healing properties has been validated by medical research. Unfortunately, scientific knowledge has failed to supplant the superstitions that drive international demand on the black market. The trade in elephant tusks and rhino horns, as well as countless other exotic animal products and derivatives, is larger now than ever before.

In fact, wildlife trafficking is reportedly the fourth largest black market in the world—behind trafficking in narcotics, arms, and humans.[26] Weak laws, corrupt officials, limited enforcement funding, and powerful incentives from criminal networks have contributed to a surge in poaching that the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) considers part of a larger “Environmental Crime Crisis.”[27] UNEP estimates that US $48-153 billion in resources are lost to illegal wildlife trafficking each year.[28]

B. A Timeline of Elephant and Rhino Poaching

When CITES entered into force, African elephants were left off of the Appendix I list. But by the late 1980s, the impacts of poaching and ivory trade had nearly destroyed their population, forcing the Parties to upgrade African elephants by instating an Appendix I listing and effectively banning commercial trade of elephant ivory.[29] Japan, however, sought to protect its domestic ivory-working market and reserved the right to import raw ivory from African CITES Parties.[30] This ivory could theoretically be legally sourced, since the wildlife management authorities of several southern African countries periodically culled their elephant population to reduce strain on park resources. But in practice, these countries were prohibited from selling any of the hundreds of tons of tusks that they had stockpiled from these culls, even if the proceeds were to be used for conservation.[31] Thus, in 1997, the CoP voted to allow for a “one-time” sale at auction to Japanese buyers of stockpiled ivory from three southern African countries which generally had well-protected elephant populations: Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana.[32] The sale occurred in February 1999 and transferred a total of 49,574 kg of ivory at roughly $100 USD per kg.[33] Though this sale was expected to dampen global demand for ivory and reduce poaching and smuggling, it had the opposite effect. Even the Chinese government has stated that the surge in ivory smuggling in the early 2000s can be attributed to the 1997 Japanese purchase.[34] Ironically, China soon leveraged this claim to argue that the incentive to smuggle ivory across the Sea of Japan could be removed if China were allowed to buy stockpiled ivory at auction as Japan did.

Though the temporary downgrade of the African elephant to Appendix II in order to facilitate the 1999 auction was not intended to be recurring, the CoP approved a second temporary removal of the ivory ban in 2007. This time, the CoP approved a one-off sale of 108 metric tons of ivory to be sold to China and Japan from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Botswana.[35] Though China and Japan did not even purchase their full allotted quota, they have been accused of colluding to keep ivory prices low by bidding on different types of ivory during the sale and then trading these between themselves at a higher profit margin than was afforded to the African source countries.[36] This Asian markup value is reflected and indeed exacerbated in the price differentials seen today.[37]

It seems universally accepted that China is the largest ivory market driving illegal trade, and most sources point to 2008 as the inflection point on the rising rate of market growth over time.[38] All evidence suggests that the creation of a legal ivory trade market in China has stimulated the growth of the illegal market, and there is a clear correlation between timing of these spikes in poaching and the international authorization of limited “legal” ivory sales.

Interestingly, the occurrence of rhino poaching remained low for nearly two decades before the elephant ivory sale in 2008. But in the years since China’s CITES-authorized 2008 ivory purchase, the shockingly rapid uptick observed in rhino poaching mirrored a simultaneous surge in ivory poaching across Africa. While only 13 rhinos were killed in South Africa in the year 2007, 83 were poached in 2008, and 1,004 fell to poachers in 2013.[39]

The low levels of rhino poaching during the early 1990s may be partly attributable to the United States’ threat of bilateral Pelly Amendment sanctions against the four main consumers of rhinoceros horns at the time: Yemen, South Korea, Taiwan and China.[40] With the passage of time, however, the threat of sanctions began to lose its bite,[41] and China’s economic growth and accession to the WTO lessened the influence of the United States as a valuable trade partner. Thus, by 2007, the United States’ objections to the proposed downlisting failed to sway the CoP or keep illicit trade at bay.

C. What’s Changed?

Rather than isolated bushmen trying to make a living, the main culprits behind today’s poaching crisis are highly organized international crime networks. One reason why the criminal profile has shifted so drastically in recent decades is the rapid global advance in technology. Many parts of the savannah that were never reached by landline phone services are now accessible through cell phones. Internet connectivity additionally unlocks previously unfathomable possibilities for rapidly coordinating sales and shipments of poached ivory with wealthy buyers abroad, as well as marketing such goods for sale online. The civil unrest and political instability in much of Africa during this time also created new opportunities and demand for arms trafficking, and armed militant groups stand fully prepared to take down game animals should the opportunity for profit present itself. Specific drug routes have been identified as repeatedly-used routes for wildlife trafficking, and many militant groups and drug cartels are known to actively participate in or profit from poaching.[42]

  1. Technical Aspects of Transport

Generally, rhinoceros horns are more frequently transported by air, while ivory is almost always sent by sea.[43] Being much smaller than elephant tusks, rhinoceros horns can be smuggled in individual suitcases on passenger planes, much like many drug-smuggling operations.[44] While the standard international protocol of checking baggage theoretically gives more room for detection and enforcement, aviation also opens up many more potential through-ports for sales unreachable by sea, e.g., Eastern Europe. The relatively low level of sophistication needed to smuggle contraband by plane to Europe also makes the rhino horn market more accessible to small-scale criminal networks. Ivory, being much larger, requires a higher level of sophistication, larger criminal syndicates, and many more players. Most ivory is sent overseas from Eastern Africa to Asia in large containerized shipments, often hidden amongst metric tons of other products.[45] The criminal syndicates orchestrating these operations either exploit existing security holes in shipping networks (the shipper having no mens rea for criminal liability) or utilize entirely corrupt shell corporations formed by one businessman with a stake in the profits.[46] This is an area in which corporate and tax laws need strengthening in order to be certain that such shell corporations are neither operating without registering or paying taxes, nor shielding the bad actors behind them from criminal liability.

IV. Addressing the Crisis

How this crisis can be addressed through CITES will almost certainly be the main topic of discussion at the 17th Conference of the Parties, to be held in South Africa in 2016. While some countries are taking action to publicly destroy their ivory stocks and sending a message that elephants are more valuable alive than partially decapitated, others seem to cling to former ideas of how to balance economic and conservation interests. South Africa has recently reaffirmed its intention to propose legalizing the rhino horn trade, which it hopes will free up its stockpile of confiscated rhino horn products, driving down the price and removing the incentive to poach.[47] Given the tremendous failure of attempts to protect elephant populations through legalized ivory trade, South Africa’s predictions seem dubious at best.

A. Addressing the Crisis Through Other Avenues of International Law: The Rise of International Involvement in Enforcing Prohibitions on Poaching

The good news is that the CITES Secretariat is not alone in this battle against illegal wildlife trafficking. TRAFFIC (Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in Commerce) is a partnership between World Wide Fund for Nature and International Fund for the Conservation of Nature, and is the leading source of information and decision-making assistance to CITES.[48] TRAFFIC manages the Elephant Trade Information System, which seeks “to track illegal trade in ivory and other elephant products,” on behalf of the CITES Parties, while CITES members themselves submit poaching reports to MIKE (Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants).[49]  In 2010, the World Customs Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and INTERPOL joined with the CITES Secretariat to form the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to bring support to national wildlife law enforcement agencies that are most pressed by threats of poaching and wildlife trafficking and challenged by a concurrent need for social welfare and development. In January 2014, the ICCWC helped train wildlife enforcement agents participating in Operation COBRA II—a one-month multinational wildlife law enforcement operation that resulted in over 400 arrests and more than 350 seizures.[50] The ICCWC has also led development of protocols for forensic genetic analysis of seized ivory to determine its source, helping to link purveyors of illegal goods to their supply chain and source.[51] Such analyses are important to the work of INTERPOL’s Environmental Security Subdirective, which makes itself available to CITES governments in crisis by deploying Incident Response Teams and Investigative Support Teams at the request of a member country.[52]

Perhaps the most interesting development in the realm of enforcement has been the UN Security Council’s adoption of Resolutions 2134 and 2136 in January 2014. Resolution 2136 renewed the arms embargo and related sanctions imposed on the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1 February 2015, and authorized targeted sanctions against poachers and wildlife product traffickers.[53] Resolution 2134 authorized similar actions to be taken in the Central African Republic.[54] The imposition of these sanctions raises several questions for the immediate future of CITES: Should we expect wildlife trafficking to become more widely recognized by the Security Council as a major contributing factor to threatened peace and security in other areas of Africa or even Southeast Asia? How effective can these remedial actions be at curtailing wildlife crimes in the face of a “pervasive breakdown in law and order?”[55]

B. WTO: Doha and the Trade Facilitation Agreement

To strengthen global protections for endangered species like the African elephant, we will need to look beyond CITES to less conventional sources for addressing environmental concerns. One promising, but largely overlooked, source is the World Trade Organization and its enforcement capacity in implementing the new Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA), introduced in the Doha Round and adopted last fall. Among the issues addressed in the TFA are: norms for the publication of laws, regulations and procedures; disciplines on fees and charges; pre-arrival processing of goods; uniformity in border procedures; simplified transit procedures; and provisions for customs cooperation and coordination.[56] Additionally, the preamble to the TFA specifically identifies itself as both “recognizing the particular needs of developing and especially least-developed country Members and desiring to enhance assistance and support for capacity building in this area,” and “recognizing the need for effective cooperation among Members on trade facilitation and customs compliance issues.”[57]

In addition to the goal of liberalizing trade in environmental goods and services, the Doha negotiations on trade and environment focused on the goals of building collaborative relationships between the WTO and multilateral environmental agreements to ensure consistency across their policies.[58] The TFA furthered these goals by requiring that WTO Members publish their importation, exportation, and transport procedures, as well as any fees and charges imposed in connection with these procedures. To better meet Doha’s goals, these documents reported in compliance with the TFA should be shared with the CITES Secretariat and jointly analyzed to help inform both Secretariats of countries and ports where underreporting may be an issue or where anomalies such as concurrent short dwell times and high shipping charges for cargo may suggest foul play.[59]

At bottom, fulfilling the TFA’s goals for increasing trade and addressing customs compliance issues will require far more effective border controls than are currently in place in major African port cities. Port cities should be the primary focus for these controls because current estimates predict that up to 90 percent of ivory seized in Africa is bound for East Asia,[60] and the majority of this Asian-bound ivory is trafficked by sea.[61] To improve efficiency, the process must be revised to increase speed while maintaining a standard minimum level of procedural quality.

C. Technology-Based Solutions for Customs Compliance and CITES Enforcement

One means of streamlining processes to enhance compliance and efficiency at borders is through technology-based solutions. Increasing availability of intelligence data on listed trafficking suspects, which can be stored and shared in a wireless “cloud,” can help ensure that customs agents are aware of their passing and inspect their shipping containers more thoroughly. Ideally, these inspections would include additional technology-based solutions such as radio-frequency identification (RFID) chip scanning and forensic DNA sampling of animal products to verify claims of legal acquisition. To demonstrate the utility of forensic testing for identifying mismatches in reporting and enforcement, DNA testing of ivory seized in Asia has frequently traced it back to Tanzania, and specifically to the Selous Game Reserve (where nearly 66 percent of the park’s population, or approximately 25,000 elephants, disappeared between 2009-2013).[62] Despite the sudden drop in Tanzania’s elephant population, only two large-scale seizures were made in the country between 2002-2011, according to data reported to the Elephant Trade Information System (a program under CITES) while 28.6 tons of ivory seized in Asia were forensically traced to Tanzania during the same timeframe.[63]

Advances in information-sharing and data-analysis technologies can help us to not only build a body of shared collaborative data between the WTO and environmental secretariats, but also to move beyond the misconception that patrolling park rangers are the first line of enforcement against poachers. While this may have been true when CITES was adopted, and poaching efforts were more fragmented and localized, it no longer applies. What was once a crime dominated by local hunters seeking bush meat and ivory to trade in an urban black-market has become the province of transnational organized criminal networks. The first line of defense now lies with those collecting and analyzing intelligence on wildlife trade syndicates and predicting their moves.

Though many perceive the threat of wildlife trafficking and endangered species extinctions as a concern subordinate to trafficking in arms or drugs or political violence, the criminal groups involved in all of these are highly interconnected and often the same. C4ADS (Center for Advanced Defense Studies) utilized the Palantir Gotham computing platform to analyze a multiplicity of data sets and elucidate networks of relatedness in illicit ivory trade. These analyses provide further evidence of the interconnectedness of criminal syndicates in wildlife trafficking, arms trafficking, and militant violence. For example, one of the top three largest ivory seizures ever recorded was traced to its sources through the connections of warlord General Laurent Nkunda (for whom the Congolese government issued an international arrest warrant for alleged war crimes and who is imprisoned in Rwanda for human rights violations) as well as those of infamous Zimbabwean arms trafficker John Bredenkamp.[64] Only ten major shipping companies, whose business information can be used to link them to their primary sources of financing, dominate the Indian Ocean shipping route utilized in the ivory trade.[65] By working backwards from this narrow starting point, it seems that further data analyses could potentially uncover a wealth of information on interconnected criminal activities and persons, in both wildlife trafficking and other illicit networks.

The type of analyses used to trace organized crime and trade networks through Africa could be extremely helpful in tracing such networks all the way into China, whose ivory market is considered the primary financial driver behind African poaching activities.[66] This conclusion is supported by the fact that a single seizure in Guangzhou in 2013 contained the tusks of nearly 1,000 elephants, and Chinese ivory traffickers have been arrested across nearly every African country with elephants.[67] Despite overwhelming evidence that Chinese trafficking syndicates are highly involved in wildlife crime, the only major Southeast-Asian wildlife trade syndicate that has been exposed to date was operating from Laos, where its kingpin remains untouchable despite the $1 million bounty the US has put on his arrest.[68]

Unfortunately, there is a dearth of agencies filling this role at present, perhaps because of the sheer amount of information in need of sorting. But to treat the wildlife trafficking crisis as a problem limited to the decades-old domestic enforcement measures encouraged by CITES text would be to turn a blind eye to the today’s reality. By allowing import and export data to be collected and handled by the WTO and shared with them, the UNEP and CITES Secretariats will not only gain a more uniform and precise source of information, but will also help developing countries to benefit more from Doha.

V. Conclusion

The crisis of illicit wildlife trade now extends beyond the confines of environmental law and policy; it pervades issues of national security, public welfare, and political and economic stability. CITES can no longer be regarded as a sufficient instrument of international law to effectively address this crisis. New levels of international cooperation, communication, and financial support must be dedicated to addressing illicit wildlife trade through additional avenues of international trade law (specifically the Protocol of Amendment to the Marrakesh Agreement inserting an Agreement on Trade Facilitation into Annex 1A) and international security (via the UN Security Council and INTERPOL).

Better enforcement and achievement of CITES’ goals can be achieved with: (1) international collaboration in strengthening border controls while still improving trade efficiency, (2) intelligence-gathering efforts to investigate criminal networks and identify key participants in the illicit wildlife trade through business connections as well as forensic DNA analysis of confiscated animal products, (3) increased numbers of wildlife product seizures and moreover, increased rates of arrest in relation to those seizures, (4) a unified effort by international judiciaries to prosecute more cases of wildlife trafficking and impose criminal sentences, (5) cooperation of CITES member governments to not knowingly harbor wildlife trafficking cartels within their borders and to protect their judges from violent public retribution for this enforcement, and (6) agreement of CITES member governments to not approve any further one-off sales of ivory or any new one-off sales of rhinoceros horn.

Collateral effects of the 2008 one-off sale of ivory to China are readily apparent in the subsequent surge of the Chinese ivory market from 2008–2014. Whether the correlation was causal or coincidental, this surge also corresponded with a surge of militant violence and political unrest throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Knowing that criminal networks are stationing syndicates across continents to move these shipments of ivory, it is unwise to launch headlong into an international effort to expedite customs procedures without creating an international plan for identifying and responding to criminal wildlife trafficking networks in international transit.

Most importantly, these international efforts must be spurred by a paradigm shift in how we conceptualize the issue of illicit wildlife trafficking. Gone are the days when CITES efficacy could be linked to a popular “Save the Whales” mentality. In order to properly combat the modern crisis of poaching and illicit wildlife trafficking, the issue must be addressed with the same level of gravity as the other organized crimes committed by the same international networks and syndicates.

* Submissions Editor for the New York University Environmental Law Journal. Expected J.D. 2016.

[1] WWF & Dalberg, Fighting Illicit Wildlife Trafficking 9 (2014), http://www.dalberg.com/documents/WWF_Wildlife_Trafficking.pdf.

[2] International Fund for Animal Welfare, Wanted–Dead or Alive 54 (2014), http://www.ifaw.org/sites/default/files/IFAW-Wanted-Dead-or-Alive-Exposing-Online-Wildlife-Trade-2014.pdf.

[3] Id. at 49.

[4] Alexandra Andersson, China’s Appetite for Pangolin is Threatening the Creature’s Existence, Time (June 12, 2014), http://time.com/2846889/pangolins-china-cites-trafficking-endangered/; http://wwf.panda.org/?213352/Caviar-from-endangered-sturgeon-not-suitable-for-Christmas

[5] Michael Ray Harris, Home, Home On The Range, 13 ABA Endangered Species Committee Newsletter (Aug. 2012), http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/nr_newsletters/es/201208_es.authcheckdam.pdf.

[6] International Fund for Animal Welfare at 32.

[7] Id. at 35.

[8]  See Philippe Sands et al., Principles of International Environmental Law 472 (3d ed. 2012).

[9] See 18 U.S.C. § 42; 16 U.S.C. §§ 3371–3372.

[10] Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora art. 6, March 3rd, 1973, 993 U.N.T.S. 243 [hereinafter CITES].

[11] CITES art. 15.

[12] See Sands et al. at 476.

[13] Id.

[14] K.O. Peppeh, Tanzania: Elephant Population in Africa’s Largest Game Reserve Under Threat, Zegabi: East Africa News (Jan. 27, 2014), http://www.zegabi.com/articles/7131.

[15] Id.

[16] WCS Supports “96 Elephants” Campaign, Wildlife Conservation Society (Sept. 26, 2013), http://www.wcs.org/press/press-releases/96-elephants.aspx.

[17] See Tom Milliken, USAID & TRAFFIC, Illegal Trade in Ivory and Rhino Horn14 (2014), http://www.traffic.org/storage/W-TRAPS-Elephant-Rhino-report.pdf.

[18] New Report Identifies Actions Needed to Curtail Illegal Ivory and Rhino Horn Trafficking, TRAFFIC (Sept. 22, 2014), http://www.traffic.org/home/2014/9/22/new-report-identifies-actions-needed-to-curtail-illegal-ivor.html.

[19] Id.

[20] Putting a Stop to Global Environmental Crime has Become an Imperative, 51 UN Chronicle (Sept. 2014), http://unchronicle.un.org/article/putting-stop-global-environmental-crime-has-become-imperative/

[21] Christine Dell’Amore, Extremely Rare White Rhino Dies in Kenya—His Kind Nearly Extinct, National Geographic (Oct. 21, 2014), http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141020-rhinoceros-death-suni-kenya-science-world-endangered-animals/.

[22] Matthew Knight, Western Black Rhino Declared Extinct, CNN (Nov. 6, 2013), http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/10/world/africa/rhino-extinct-species-report/.

[23]  Javan Rhinoceros, WWF Global, http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/endangered_species/rhinoceros/asian_rhinos/javan_rhinoceros/ (last visited May 1, 2015).

[24] Id.

[25] NATURE: Rhino Horn Use, PBS (Aug. 20, 2010), http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/rhinoceros-rhino-horn-use-fact-vs-fiction/1178/

[26] See Milliken at 1.

[27] See UN Chronicle.

[28] Achim Steiner, Scenario Note for the First Session of the United Nations Environment Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme (June 23-27, 2013), U.N. Doc. UNEP/EA.1/INF/20/Rev.2 (June 23, 2013), http://www.unep.org/unea/docs/concept_note_wildlife.pdf.

[29] Varun Vira et al., C4ADS & Born Free USA, Out of Africa: Mapping the Global Trade in Illicit Elephant Ivory (2014) [hereinafter Out of Africa], http://www.wwf.se/source.php/1578610/out%20of%20africa.pdf. See also International Environmental Law and Policy 1081 (David Hunter et al. eds., 4th ed. 2011).

[30] International Environmental Law and Policy at 1081.

[31] Id. at 1082.

[32] Id.

[33] Id.

[34] Adam Welz, Race to Save the Rhino, U. Minn. Inst. for the Env’t (Aug. 7, 2013), http://ensia.com/features/the-race-to-save-rhinos/

[35] David Daniels, Illegal Ivory Trade ‘Out of Control,Washington Times (Dec. 9, 2014), http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/dec/9/illegal-ivory-trade-out-of-control/.

[36] Out of Africa at 47; Brian Christy, Ivory Worship, National Geographic (Oct. 2012), http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2012/10/ivory/christy-text.

[37] See Jason Straziuso, “Ivory for Sale in Angola; Big Tuskers Die in Kenya,” Associated Press (June 19, 2014), http://bigstory.ap.org/article/ivory-sale-angola-big-tuskers-die-kenya.

[38] E.g., Ana Swanson, How China’s Ivory Addiction Explains the New World Economy, The Washington Post (Nov. 7, 2014), http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2014/11/07/how-chinas-ivory-addiction-explains-the-new-world-economy/; Environmental Investigation Agency, Vanishing Point: Criminality, Corruption and the Devastation of Tanzania’s Elephants (Nov. 2014), http://eia-international.org/wp-content/uploads/EIA-Vanishing-Point-lo-res1.pdf.

[39] Id.

[40] Milliken at 14; see also 16 U.S.C. § 4242 (Certification under Pelly Amendment).

[41] For example, Iceland has now been certified three times under the Pelly Amendment but continues its whaling practices. GPO, Message to the Congress on Pelly Certification and Icelandic Whaling (Apr. 2014), http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/DCPD-201400227/pdf/DCPD-201400227.pdf

[42] Donald R. Liddick, Crimes Against Nature 49 (2011); see Switching Channels, WWF/TRAFFIC Briefing Document 4 (Dec. 2012) http://www.wwf.org.uk/filelibrary/pdf/switchingchannels.pdf.

[43] Out of Africa at 12.

[44] Id.

[45] Id.

[46] Id. at 17.

[47] See South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs, The Viability of Legalising Trade in Rhino Horn in South Africa 103 (2014), https://www.environment.gov.za/sites/default/files/docs/rhinohorntrade_southafrica_legalisingreport.pdf.

[48] Our Work, TRAFFIC, http://www.traffic.org/cites/ (last visited May 1, 2015).

[49] CITES Resolution Conf. 10.10 (Rev. CoP16): Trade in Elephant Specimens, http://cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/res/10/E-Res-10-10R16.pdf.

[50] Press Release, Lusaka Agreement Task Force and CITES Management Authority of China, African, Asian and North American Law Enforcement Officers Team up to Apprehend Wildlife Criminals, Operation COBRA II Press Release (Feb. 10, 2014), http://cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/news/sundry/2014/operation_cobra_ii_pr.pdf

[51] See U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Guidelines on Methods and Procedures for Ivory Sampling and Laboratory Analysis, U.N. Doc. ST/NAR/50 (Nov. 2014).

[52] International Consortium on Combatting Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), Geneva, Switzerland, July 7–11 2014, Powerpoint Presentations from Side Events Held During SC65, SC65 Inf. 27, http://cites.org/sites/default/files/eng/com/sc/65/Inf/E-SC65-Inf-27.pdf

[53] S.C. Res. 2136, U.N. Doc. S/RES/2136 (Jan. 30, 2014), http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2136(2014).

[54] S.C. Res. 2134, U.N. Doc. S/RES/2134 (Jan. 28, 2014),  http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/RES/2134(2014

[55] See U.N. Secretary General, Report of the Secretary General on the Central African Republic Submitted Pursuant to Paragraph 22 of Security Council Resolution 2121 (2013), U.N. Doc. S/2013/677 (Nov. 15, 2013), http://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2013/677.

[56] World Trade Organization, Decision Adopted by the General Council on 1 August 2004, Annex D, WT/L/579 (2004), https://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/dda_e/ddadraft_31jul04_e.pdf.

[57] WTO Ministerial Conference Ninth Session, Ministerial Decision of 7 December 2013, WT/MIN(13)/36, WT/L/911, WTO 13-6816 (Dec. 11, 2013) (Agreement on Trade Facilitation).

[58] World Trade Organization, Ministerial Declaration of 14 November 2001, ¶ 31, WT/MIN(01)/DEC/1, 41 I.L.M. 746 (2002), https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/minist_e/min01_e/mindecl_e.pdf.

[59] Out of Africa at 22–23.

[60] Out of Africa at 7.

[61] Id. at 18.

[62] Id. at 8.

[63] Id. at 13.

[64] Palantir Technologies, Investigating the Illicit Ivory Trade with Palantir Gotham, Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMv3TBxulu4#t=23 (last visited May 1, 2015).

[65] Out of Africa at 19.

[66] See Wittemyer et al., Illegal Killing for Ivory Drives Global Decline in African Elephants, 111 PNAS 13117–21 (2014).

[67] Out of Africa at 7.

[68] http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/14/world/asia/us-to-offer-reward-in-wildlife-trafficking-fight.html?pagewanted=all; see also http://eia-international.org/vixay-keosavang-an-untouchable-kingpin-of-wildlife-crime