International public policy final assignment
By Danylo Mandiuk 195625, Sofiya Zhuravska 195749
Public policy as a tool to reduce local and global threats such as illegal wildlife trade and poaching
In todays world there is a huge issue with illegal trade of the Animalia kingdom and poaching, this could result into big local and global threats, since the food chain might collapse and that this fact is as equally important as the global warming due to the fact the both might result in a ecological collapse that refers to a situation where an ecosystem suffers a drastic, possibly permanent, reduction in carrying capacity for all organisms, often resulting in mass extinction. Thankfully there is an international non-governmental organization working in the field of the wilderness preservation, and the reduction of human impact on the environment. The organization convinces and helps governments and other political bodies to adopt, enforce, strengthen and/or change policies, guidelines and laws that affect biodiversity and natural resource use. It also ensures government consent and/or keeps their commitment to international instruments relating to the protection of biodiversity and natural resources. The newest policy they have brought up for discussion is to reduce local and global threats such as illegal wildlife trade and poaching. Stamping out wildlife crime is a priority for WWF because it’s the largest direct threat to the future of many of the world’s most threatened species. It is second only to habitat destruction in overall threats against species survival. We will be discussing in this paper to see the issues and solutions to the problem that decision makers could take into account when the question will be brought up to the table and make the correct decision on this matter.
This problem has occurred because humans for many years have been the earths biggest predators. Yes, we do need food to survive and not be vegans to save the animal population but other unnecessary activity regarding the species that we do not eat such as tigers, snakes, elephants and the list goes on and on should be strictly regulated. Ecosystem will not collapse if humans keep consuming regular farm animal food, since farmers know how to help reproduce them. But people keep killing animals for the things that are valuable in this world but are not necessary for humans to survive such as animal’s fur and ivory. For example At the beginning of the 20th century there were a few million African elephants and approximately 100,000 Asian elephants. Today elephants are now considered endangered, there are about 450,000-700,000 African elephants and 35,000-40,000 Asian elephants all because of humans just slaughtering them for ivory also poaching threatens the last of our wild tigers that number around 3,890. Another big problem that has accrued to help humans get all these animals valuables is illegal animal trade. For example, in our research we have found out that big-horned sheep antlers can fetch $20,000 on the black market. Wildlife crime is a big business. Run by dangerous international networks, wildlife and animal parts are trafficked much like illegal drugs and arms. By its very nature, it is almost impossible to obtain reliable figures for the value of illegal wildlife trade. Global trade in illegal wildlife is a growing illicit economy, estimated to be worth at least $5 billion and potentially in excess of $20 billion annually. Not all wildlife trade is illegal. Wild plants and animals from tens of thousands of species are caught or harvested from the wild and then sold legitimately as food, pets, ornamental plants, leather, tourist ornaments and medicine. Wildlife trade escalates into a crisis when an increasing proportion is illegal and unsustainable—directly threatening the survival of many species in the wild.
The policy main goal is to significantly decrease the number of illegal animal trade and poaching by increasing the fight against it to a level close to the fight against drugs and arms trafficking. If the goals will be achieved this could help the world stay sustainable in terms of food supply and still keep exotic animals alive for humans to enjoy the beauty of mother nature. Of course this will have a significant impact on the price of valuable animal goods such as fur and ivory but that can be fixed by having recycle old goods with chemical help and still have regulated animal poaching to produce these goods for the part of the worlds population that “really need” these goods.
The public intervention into our policy basically depends on the place where government can imply its forces. As far as we have decided to look into the European support of wildlife, this may lead us to the in-depth analysis of particular areas of living for animals. Even though Europe is politically and economically connected between each other – geographically its still part of Eurasia. So, due to previously mentioned fact, 25% of European area is covered with forests, including the managed woodlands, despite the fact that Europe has few natural wilderness areas as most of its habitats have been created or influenced by mankind over millennia.
Everything concerning the wildlife will always begin from a human being, because the most harsh and negative impact can be caused only by people. Let us look at the situation from that angle where people at least are going to try preventing harmful actions that may cause the endangered species to disappear from this planet in the future. For instance, worldwide known recycling and, what is more buying mostly sustainable products. Only by buying recycled paper, sustainable products like bamboo and Forest Stewardship Council wood products this planet will make an effort and protect forest species. In addition, by minimizing the use of palm oil would definitely discourage the cut down to plant palm plantations forests where basically wild animals live.
The next option is to exclude purchasing of products made from threatened or endangered species. Importantly, when traveling overseas, on one hand, can be exciting and fun, and everyone wants a souvenir. But sometimes the souvenirs are made from species nearing extinction. By avoid the support of illegal market in wildlife, including tortoise-shell, ivory, coral the effect will rise instantly. Also, people should be careful of products including fur from tigers, polar bears, sea otters and other endangered wildlife, crocodile skin, live monkeys or apes, most live birds including parrots, macaws, cockatoos and finches, some live snakes, turtles and lizards, some orchids, cacti and cycads, medicinal products made from rhinos, tiger or Asiatic black bear.
On the contrary, native plants provide food and shelter for native wildlife. Attracting native insects like bees and butterflies can help pollinate your plants. The spread of non-native species has greatly impacted native populations around the world. Invasive species compete with native species for resources and habitat. They can even prey on native species directly, forcing native species towards extinction.
Last but not least, we all know about the existence of herbicides and pesticides that may keep yards looking nice but they are in fact hazardous pollutants that affect wildlife at many levels. Many herbicides and pesticides take a long time to degrade and build up in the soils or throughout the food chain. Predators such as hawks, owls and coyotes can be harmed if they eat poisoned animals. Some groups of animals such as amphibians are particularly vulnerable to these chemical pollutants and suffer greatly as a result of the high levels of herbicides and pesticides in their habitat.
For a pretty long time, many world organizations existing for saving animals are fighting for the species lives, which, consequently explains how the intervention answers the identified sources of the problem. And they, certainly, are implementing everything above-mentioned and this, surely can be seen as a great strategy to make a change in this kind of policy. The main question that is needed to be answered is whether it brings any good consequences in at least a long-term period.
Nevertheless, it is pretty much obvious that the stakeholders of the policy are basically people, who needed to be considered in achieving project goals and whose participation and support are crucial to its success. But, considering the fact that there are always two sides of the same coin, briefly positive and negative sides in any business, stakeholders in this affair might be either people who sell animals and make money on this issue or maybe those who are sincerely doing anything just to save poor animals from any disadvantageous factors in a whole. Likewise the effects that may occur to the stakeholders from negative sides, mainly in the case of policy getting into an action, are promising to become decisive. First of all, if we take into account negative stakeholders, the effect in the case of implementing policy on them would be: first – push governments to protect threatened animal populations by increasing law enforcement, imposing strict deterrents, reducing demand for endangered species products and honouring international commitments made under CITES; second – speak up on behalf of those on the frontline being threatened by armed poachers so they are properly equipped, trained and compensated and the third option is to reduce demand for illegal wildlife parts and products by encouraging others to ask questions and get the facts before buying any wildlife or plant product.
Apparently WWF might be the only effectively operating organization that is responsible for taking decision and implementing planned interventions at the international as well global level, those, who, in general, technically and practically focus their efforts on multiple tasks and with all their insights are every day irritating possible disastrous events in relations to all endangered animals. In a nutshell, there is a point of setting up this policy. The most reason why people really should pay their attention to this problem is, by all means, staggering cost involved. One study, according to BBC Earth, in 2012 estimated that it would cost $76 billion (£49 billion) a year to preserve threatened land animals. So, maybe people should think one more time of the saving of all the endangered marine species which saving could even cost far more. And if there is a need to spend all that money on wildlife or it would be better to follow the rules to prevent the death of species by ourselves, because obviously the number of government spending is promising to rise to enormous amount in a long run and that is surely not appropriate. Nature is beautiful, and that aesthetic value is crucial reason to keep it.
This is not some new subject, this matter has been talked about and covered in media for more than decade a decade now. It has been talked about on many news and nature networks and is frequently reported on the news channels such as , The Guardian, Independent, Global News and more. There are daily reports on this matter on World Wild Life, which has a serious network set up on TV programmes, social network, news reports and their own website. For example, we have read a article on Canadian Geographic, which is Canada’s geographical magazine, connecting with more than 3.4 million readers/viewers per month, a story of a researcher that has searched for how much illegal animal trading is happening in Canada and compered the earnings between drug traffickers and animal traffickers. All media sources and people that talk about illegal trade of animals state that it is animal abuse and more and more common animals are coming close to an extinct. The only ones who don’t talk about it being wrong are the ones making illegal money on it.
In Conclusion, this policy must be accepted due to the fact that there are clearly more cons than pros and that most want illegal trade to stop but so far there has not been enough effort to take care of our planet and nature. Like with climate change and the greenhouse gas issue, it is better to try to prevent is late than never. Decision makers should try to take into account all issues gathering around illegal wildlife trade, evaluate everything and I think that this is a very reasonable policy regarding a dangerous matter against the nature on the planet that we all live on. I believe that this policy will be implemented due to the fact that saving and taking care of mother earth is the only way for humans to stay alive.