Scielo RSS <![CDATA[SA Crime Quarterly]]> vol. num. 60 lang. en <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Organised environmental crimes: trends, theory, impact and responses</b>]]> This issue of South African Crime Quarterly is a special issue dedicated to organised environmental crimes. It is guest edited by Annette Hübschle of the Environmental Futures Project, Institute for Safety Governance and Criminology at the University of Cape Town, and funded by the Global Initiative for Transnational Organised Crime. <![CDATA[<b>Society and the rhino. A whole-of-society approach to wildlife crime in South Africa</b>]]> The recent and rapid increase in wildlife crime threatens not only the survival of significant populations of endangered species in South Africa but also regional security, the sustainability of the tourism sector and the social stability of communities. Many wildlife crime interventions fail to achieve sustained impact due to the complexity of the crime. Different aspects of the problem are interconnected, but stakeholders address them in parts. This causes some to view the problem as too complex to address, thus promoting a state of crisis management. Addressing wildlife crime requires harmonising efforts, incorporating on-the-ground cross-border cooperation that balances conserving wildlife with stakeholder needs for socio-economic development and local, national and regional stability. This article explores innovative and integrated ways to mitigate the complexity of wildlife crime, framed as a 'whole-of-society' response to the challenge with a specific focus on implementation. <![CDATA[<b>Inclusive anti-poaching? Exploring the potential and challenges of community-based anti-poaching</b>]]> As it is acknowledged that the largely (para)militarised approach to anti-poaching has its limitations, alternative approaches to conservation law enforcement are being sought. One alternative, what we call inclusive anti-poaching, focuses on including people from local communities in anti-poaching initiatives. Using a case study of a community programme from southern Mozambique, located adjacent to South Africa's Kruger National Park, we examine the potential of a community ranger initiative to move towards a more inclusive and sustainable approach to anti-poaching and conservation. While highlighting its challenges and potential drawbacks, we argue that including local people in conservation law enforcement efforts can help address poaching and the problematic aspects of current anti-poaching measures. However, to be a genuine and sustainable alternative, community ranger programmes must be part of a broader shift towards developing local wildlife economies that benefit local communities, as opposed to supporting pre-existing anti-poaching interventions. <![CDATA[<b>Poachers and pirates. Improving coordination of the global response to wildlife crime</b>]]> This article aims to identify how the global response to wildlife crime can be improved and what role South Africa might play in it. To do so, we examine the emerging global wildlife crime regime and the challenges it faces. To offer an understanding of how governance could be improved, we ask how the success in curbing another transnational crime, piracy off the coast of Somalia, can serve as an example of international coordination. We discuss core lessons from the coordination and governance of counter-piracy. Through the comparison, we identify core dimensions by which the coordination of responses to wildlife crime might be improved. Our conclusion stresses the importance of more focused, inclusive and experimental forums. We end by outlining a number of core issues that South Africa should start to consider in its wildlife policies. <![CDATA[<b>Responding to organised environmental crimes. Collaborative approaches and capacity building</b>]]> The aim of this article is to discuss the ways in which collaboration and a coordinated approach to dealing with criminal groups involved in environmental crime can be established and bolstered. The article begins by examining the challenges associated with organised criminal networks and transnational crimes for environmental law enforcement agencies. Such analyses continually highlight several factors: the importance of collaboration in combatting organised criminal networks; the need for flexibility in dealing with fluid on-the-ground situations; the importance of up-skilling in order to move laterally across different institutional and national contexts; and - the lynchpin across all of these areas - capacity building for sustainable practice. Various forms of collaboration are outlined, as well as the importance of trust and relationships in maintaining cooperative arrangements. A case study is used to illustrate contemporary developments relevant to enhanced collaboration with regard to environmental law enforcement. <![CDATA[<b>Heritage lost: The cultural impact of wildlife crime in South Africa</b>]]> Crimes against wildlife have been in the spotlight in South Africa in the past decade - largely due to the escalation of rhino poaching. As a custodian of iconic species, South Africa is at the heart of the illicit and licit wildlife economy. Since the country's economy relies on wildlife tourism as one of its sources of income, poaching has economic consequences. The negative impact, however, extends into the cultural sphere too. Some fear that extinction will rob future generations of the chance to experience wildlife, thus depriving them of their rightful cultural heritage. This commentary piece suggests that wildlife crime may be a form of cultural victimisation for people who feel that wildlife is part of their identity. It does so while acknowledging that poverty and other structural limitations prevent many South Africans from experiencing wildlife in this way, and that some may feel indifferent or resentful towards conservation initiatives if their basic needs are not met. <![CDATA[<b>Live by the gun, die by the gun. Botswana's 'shoot-to-kill' policy as an anti-poaching strategy</b>]]> Rhino and elephant poaching affects various Southern African countries. Despite recent reductions in rhino poaching in Namibia and South Africa, it remains a concern. In response, the government of Botswana has implemented a controversial 'shoot-to-kill' policy, targeting poachers. We believe this has reduced poaching in Botswana, relative to most African countries. Private rhino conservators from neighbouring South Africa have relocated some of their rhinos to Botswana. This commentary piece discusses the militarisation of conservation as a viable conservation policy. It argues that anti-poaching is comparable to the war on terror. It reviews Botswana's shoot-to-kill policy and its justification in international law, specifically with regard to war and armed combat. It adopts an exploratory methodology to reflect on the effectiveness of Botswana's policy, and considers whether it can be adopted by other countries, particularly South Africa, to combat poaching. It concludes that shoot-to-kill is an effective deterrence to poachers when implemented alongside long-term conservation management interventions. <![CDATA[<b>On the record: Interview with Major General Johan Jooste (retired), South African National Parks, head of Special Projects</b>]]> A multitude of measures, including regulatory changes, law enforcement measures and demand reduction campaigns, appear to have done little to stem the tide against organised environmental crimes. However, fewer rhinos were poached in South Africa's signature national park, the Kruger National Park (KNP), in 2015 and 2016 than in the year before and a steady decline was evident at the time of the interview in June 2017. The KNP is home to the largest number of free roaming rhinos in the world. The park has been in the 'eye of the storm', losing close to 4 000 rhinos to poaching between 2006 and 2016. In 2012, the South African National Parks (SANParks) management formed a unit named Special Projects. The function of the project team was to develop and implement mitigation measures to deal with the drastic increase in wildlife crime and, in particular, rhino poaching in the KNP. Major General Johan Jooste (Ret) heads the unit. Critical voices have questioned the efficacy of the anti-poaching strategy, suggesting that park authorities are waging a 'war on poaching' with unintended long-term consequences for protected areas management and community relations.¹ Scholars have argued that 'green militarisation' has led to an arms race between poachers and rangers and, moreover, that 'green violence' has led to the deployment of violent instruments and tactics in pursuit of the protection of nature, and ideas and aspirations related to nature conservation.² In May 2017 Annette Hübschle interviewed Major General Johan Jooste (Ret.) to explore his views on the successes and failures of the South African anti-poaching strategy. The pair also discussed whether claims of 'green militarisation' in South Africa's protected areas were justified.