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Overview

This policy lab seminar addresses the international wildlife trafficking crisis, with a focus on legal and policy tools that can help combat the scourge. The price of ivory on black markets has skyrocketed and elephant and rhino populations in Africa are being decimated. At current poaching rates, African elephants could be wiped out within 8 to 10 years. Trafficking also is hitting tigers, great apes, sharks and other important species. The seminar will key into the President's recent Executive Order on Combating Wildlife Trafficking (E.O. 13658, issued on July 1, 2013), the National Strategy on Wildlife Trafficking, and other related international efforts to reduce the killing in host countries, the transshipment of poached materials, and consumer demand for ivory and other wildlife parts. The seminar will address US laws and their role in addressing trade in wildlife parts. It also will undertake a comparative review of the legal structures in relevant African and Asian nations, and the potential role of the international endangered species treaty (CITES) and transnational enforcement efforts in cracking down on ivory and other wildlife-related trafficking. The seminar will review prior poaching crises, including the elephant/ivory crisis in the late 1980s, and evaluate why the strategies that reduced killings in the 1990s are no longer successful. Based on these analyses, the class will develop and submit recommendations for reforms to US, African, and international laws and practices to the Wildlife Trafficking Advisory Council, which was established under the Executive Order and is composed of outside experts who are advising the Task Force. (Professor Hayes is Vice Chair of the Advisory Council.)