This working session focused on how civil society can undertake investigations of transnational crimes to collect evidence and press governments to take action. The Wildlife Justice Commission (WJC) discussed civil society’s role in bridging the enforcement gap when intergovernmental or governmental approaches fail to address pressing issues. Specifically, the WJC presented its approach to the lack of enforcement of laws related to wildlife crime and the urgent need to acknowledge it as transnational organized crime. The WJC presented its intelligence-led approach to investigations and the role of public hearings as the ultimate means to generate government accountability if all else fails. The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) presented its approach documenting illegal fishing through film-led investigations to bring about government enforcement. These approaches are essential to fill gaps left by a lack of enforcement of laws against illegal fishing. During the session, both organizations highlighted the fact that without government action, durable reform is not possible. Therefore influencing government strategies and priorities is crucial.
Read the full summary for this working session.