Annually, more illegal seizures are made at the international border between Hong Kong and mainland China than at any other border in China.
Research to inform: Stemming the flow of illegally traded wildlife through Hong Kong, means addressing a systemic issue, i.e. the inadequate legislative framework for addressing wildlife crime, lack of enforcement capacity and ultimately enhancing enforcement.
In collaboration with members of the Hong Kong Wildlife Trade Working Group, a first step has been to undertake extensive research into the illegal wildlife trade within and through the city, to gain facts and data about the trade. The findings have been consolidated in the following report released in January 2019:
- Trading in Extinction – The Dark Side of Hong Kong’s Wildlife Trade (Full Report)
- Trading in Extinction – The Illegal Side of Hong Kong’s Wildlife Trade (Executive Summary focusing on the illegal trade only)
This report consolidates a large body of pre-existing work and reconciles this with a detailed review of Hong Kong’s seizure data spanning five years (2013-2017) as well as court monitoring data. It aims to update and, for the first time, illustrate the extent and nature of the wildlife trade and wildlife crime in Hong Kong. It demonstrates that not only is the trade in legal and illegal wildlife at a significant and unsustainable scale, it is likely to get worse. Further, while Hong Kong plays a primary role in connecting trafficked products with their illegal markets, the Hong Kong’s Administration should and could do more to disrupt the associated criminal activity.
Developing the Wildlife Products Seizure Database: As part of the research, ADMCF created the Wildlife Product Seizure Database (WiPS) which represents the most complete and up to date and current database on wildlife crime in Hong Kong.
Changing policy: The report findings, WiPS and ADMCF’s court monitoring have informed the development of a policy paper, drafted in consultation with Randy Shek and Isabel Tam (Barristers from Denis Chang’s Chambers) and legal academic Amanda Whitfort (Associate Professor of Law and the University of Hong Kong). The paper will provide the basis for the making the case to the government and its legislature that wildlife crime in Hong Kong should be incorporated into the Organised and Serious Crimes Ordinance.
China, Hong Kong
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