Panel Discussions - Thursday, June 20, 2013
Poaching Is Threat to International Peace and Security
Poaching is becoming a development, gender, health, and security issue, and needs holistic approaches to end the demand for wildlife products and communities’ dependence on poaching. This was the key message that emerged from a policy forum organized by the International Peace Institute and the Permanent Mission of Germany to the United Nations on June 20, 2013.
The policy forum addressed a range of issues from the impact of poaching on the environment, the economy, and peace and security to the need for enhanced policy effectiveness. The link between poaching and organized crime, social destabilization, and armed conflict was highlighted. Three panelists represented respectively the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, African Parks Foundation, and The Brookings Institution.
The discussion offered a number of insights on the risks posed by poaching and useful policy recommendations:
1. Poaching involves a complex network of actors, including criminal and armed groups such as the Lord’s Resistance Army in central Africa. Building on poor governance, corruption, and communities’ lack of economic opportunities, poaching contributes to social destabilization and poses serious risks to biodiversity. By fuelling conflict, poaching also constitutes a growing threat to international peace and security.
2. Poaching is unlikely to be eliminated unless the demand for ivory and other wildlife products is significantly reduced. Constructive dialogue must be part of strategies aimed at changing traditional beliefs in countries such as China and Thailand, where the growing demand for ivory reinforces the economic value of poaching in local communities in Africa.
3. Urgent action is also needed at the source. Response options must tackle the root causes of poaching while ensuring communities’ involvement and ownership. Equitable sharing of resources from ecotourism projects must provide durable alternatives to poaching as a source of livelihoods and social mobility. Depending on the context, legal trade—if allowed—should be coupled with effective law enforcement.
4. The enforcement of existing regulations needs to be strengthened. Law enforcement efforts should target poachers on the ground and crack down on complicity between officials and criminal networks. These efforts must also fight corruption and impunity at higher levels of government.
5. At the international level, strategies used in the UN Security Council’s sanctions regimes could be extended to poaching. “Naming and shaming” of alleged perpetrators could be applied to armed groups including the national army of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), whose involvement in poaching has been established.
6. A stronger emphasis by the Security Council on ivory trade could help strengthen related investigations by the Group of Experts on the DRC. Moreover, the due diligence guidelines for multinational companies involved in the exploitation of mineral resources could be broadened to include products from poaching and illicit wildlife trade.
7. On the ground, the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) has not been as effective as it could be in supporting groups already fighting poaching. MONUSCO could provide these groups with support including logistics, intelligence, and training, as well as sharing of information and best practices.
The Global Observatory
Nelson Mandela: Man and Awesome Phenomenon
A former member of the South African Parliament reflects on Mandela's warmth and generosity.
Ordinary Fears, Extraordinary Man: The Legacy of Nelson Mandela
As a young South African diplomat during the apartheid-to-democracy transition, Cedric de Coning witnessed the humility and power of a flawed statesman.
Key Global Events to Watch in December
A list of key upcoming meetings and events with implications for global affairs.
Top 10 Issues to Watch in 2013: The Multilateral Arena
Ten key issues that are likely to impact global affairs in international peace, security, and development.
The Global Observatory, produced by IPI, provides timely analysis on peace and security issues, interviews with leading policymakers, interactive maps, and more.
December 02, 2013
Latin America Focus of Fourth ''Being a Peacekeeper'' Event
On December 2-3, IPI brought together 24 representatives from eleven Latin American countries with senior officials from the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the Department of Field Support to discuss the current state—as well as the future—of Latin American military and police contributions to UN peacekeeping operations.
November 28, 2013
Energy and Security in the Arctic: A New “Frozen” Conflict?
Is the Arctic a “region of cooperation,” or will competition for its potentially rich energy resources lead to conflict in the high north? This was the main question addressed during an expert workshop held in The Hague on November 28th by the International Peace Institute together with the International Gas Union and the Clingendael International Energy Programme.
November 22, 2013
Can Technology Play a Role in Drafting a Constitution?
The effects that new technologies can have on constitutional processes was the topic of this November 22nd IPI roundtable discussion. Approximately five new constitutions are written around the world every year, and their legitimacy is increasingly influenced by a new level of public participation in their drafting, not merely by a plebiscite on the final text. As rapidly advancing technology changes the way that governments and citizens interact, what role are new technologies playing in constitutions?