An Introduction to Green Criminology and Environmental Justice


Angus Nurse

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    About The Author

    Angus Nurse is Senior Lecturer in Criminology at Middlesex University School of Law where he teaches and researches criminology and law and is Programme Leader for the MA Criminology. Angus has research interests in green criminology, corporate environmental criminality, critical criminal justice, animal and human rights law and anti-social behaviour. He is particularly interested in animal law and its enforcement and the reasons why people commit environmental crimes and crimes against animals. Angus has also researched and published on the links between violence towards animals and human violence. His first book Animal Harm: Perspectives on why People Harm and Kill Animals was published by Ashgate in 2013, his second; Policing Wildlife: Perspectives on the Enforcement of Wildlife Legislation was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2015.

    Angus is co-editor of Palgrave Macmillan’s Palgrave Studies in Green Criminology book series (with Rob White from the University of Tasmania and Melissa Jarrell from Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi). Together with Becky Milne (University of Portsmouth) and Sam Poyser (Nottingham Trent University) he is currently working on a book on miscarriages of justice, a subject on which he has contributed to two essay collections from the Justice Gap.


    This book developed to serve two disparate functions; first, the need for an introductory easily digestible text providing an introduction to the concepts of green criminology and environmental justice for both students and practitioners. Second, a research-based volume that provides discussion of contemporary issues and debates in green crime and environmental harm. The research on which this book is based has taken place over more than 15 years but is far from complete given ongoing developments in environmental crime policy and practice and in the field of environmental law and its enforcement.

    Green crime is a fast-moving and somewhat contested area in which academics, policymakers and practitioners frequently disagree not only on how green crimes should be defined but also on: the nature of the criminality involved; potential solutions to problems of green crime; and the content and priorities of policy. Within ecological justice discourse, debates continue over whether green crimes are best addressed through criminal justice systems or via civil or administrative mechanisms. Indeed, a central discussion within green criminology is that of whether environmental harm rather than environmental crime should be its focus, with the environmental harm perspective currently dominating green criminological discourse. In essence, there is ongoing fundamental debate over whether green crimes should be seen as the focus of mainstream criminal justice and dealt with by core criminal justice agencies such as the police, or whether they should be considered as being beyond the mainstream. The argument for this harm perspective is dominated by the often transnational nature of environmental ‘crimes’, their location within government environmental policy departments rather than criminal justice ones and the fact that environmental harms are often dealt with by specialist environmental agencies (in)appropriately constituted (and resourced) to deal with the specifics of green offending. It should, however, be noted from the outset that much environmental harm is regulatory in nature rather than actually being categorized as crimes. Put another way, much of what we may think of as green crime is not in fact defined as crime and is dealt with other than by criminal justice agencies.

    For those new to the field of green criminology these debates risk becoming a distraction from the core issues of understanding the current problems facing the environment and ecosystems and the manner in which justice systems deal with these. The purpose of this book is to provide an introduction to key concepts in green criminology and to discuss the nature of environmental harms (including crimes against animals) within a broad justice framework. However, it is also intended to provide for discussion of the complexities of contemporary harms and issues relating to illegal environmental activity. In particular, corporate environmental ‘crime’ and the role of the state in dealing with transnational environmental crime and the use of civil and administrative law mechanisms where criminal justice processes prove ineffective. The central questions running through this book are a) how can a green perspective be applied to contemporary criminal justice? and b) how should distinctly green crimes be dealt with in order to both address offending behaviour and repair the harm caused by environmental offending?

    While the focus of this text is predominantly on crime and criminality, it is not purely an environmental crime book. There are many excellent books that deal with transnational and environmental crime problems such as Situ and Emmons’ (2000) Environmental Crime; a text covering the context in which environmental crimes are dealt with by criminal justice systems and that helps define their nature. Rob White’s (2008) Crimes Against Nature is a seminal work in applying criminological theory to green problems and in developing green criminological thought, and Piers Beirne and Nigel South’s (2007) Issues in Green Criminology brings together a number of leading scholars in an exploration of green crimes as diverse as animal abuse, food crime, radioactive waste and climate change and its bearing on women’s vulnerability towards violence. I have at one time or another recommended all of these books to students, also using them as sources for various research projects. However, this book’s objective is slightly different and falls into the category of green criminology as a tool for studying, analysing and dealing with environmental crimes. Its primary focus is on activity prohibited by law, although it extends beyond examining just the criminal law and considers civil and administrative law and regulatory justice systems. The purpose of doing so is to primarily consider how legal systems and public policy currently deal with environmental offences. This makes the book of interest not just to students studying green criminology as a theoretical discipline but also those studying green criminology within criminal justice, criminal investigation, environmental law and environmental politics degrees. Its intention is also to allow students to consider the best mechanisms for dealing with environmental offences not just in terms of punishing offenders (the core focus of criminal justice) but also in respect of remedying environmental and wildlife damage caused by environmental offending.

    Selection of Topics

    The topics in this book have been selected to incorporate discussion of the importance of environmental justice and green criminology within international criminal justice. While there is inevitably some bias towards discussing the position in the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU), where the majority of my original field research and policy analysis takes place, this book is international in scope; its topics having been selected to incorporate discussion of the international context of environmental crime and the transnational nature of much of its criminality. Much environmental crime crosses state boundaries and as a result highlights the difficulties of international enforcement in an era of uncertainty over the efficacy of international criminal justice systems and existing international law enforcement regimes that still rely predominantly on agreements between national policing systems. The book also explicitly considers the practical enforcement of environmental law within a green criminological context concerned with what should be done about environmental harms when they occur, as well as with how they might be prevented. In the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) sector, policy analysts and investigators increasingly adopt a transnational approach and facilitate exchange of information and intelligence between countries using a number of umbrella agencies (e.g. WWF, TRAFFIC, Birdlife International). Rather than there being a single integrated international environmental law system, agreements between various organizations are often integral to ensuring effective environmental law enforcement. The monitoring of environmental harms; investigation and prosecution of environmental crimes; and regulatory justice systems are all covered by this book. It also explores the role of various enforcement agencies including those NGOs who are actively involved in policy development and practical enforcement activity. A central issue considered within this text is the role of the state in dealing with environmental crimes and the public policy response to offending, which also varies between jurisdictions such that in some countries, certain environmental harms are dealt with as criminal offences whereas in other countries these are dealt with as technical or regulatory breaches. This is particularly the case where corporate activity is involved, given the general unwillingness of governments to deal with corporations as criminal entities. Indeed in some jurisdictions it is difficult to prosecute a corporation as the legal entity responsible for environmental offending, requiring investigators and prosecutors to identify an individual who can be deemed responsible for the environmental harm caused. Frequently such individuals are at the ‘lower end’ of the offender scale, the working man rather than the company manager or director who some might consider should be held responsible for any corporate environmental damage.

    This book seeks to examine this wide range of issues relating to environmental crime and harm and explore the different aspects of green crime and green criminology. In doing so it explores a range of activities, including: theories of green criminology; the causes of environmental crime; the protection of wildlife and illegal wildlife trade; the criminal exploitation of natural resources; the green movement and the role of NGOs in investigating wildlife crime; the role of the courts and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that seeks to deal with environmental harms outside of the court process or through restorative means. In examining these issues it explicitly considers the green criminological perspective on repairing environmental harms and the general failure of justice systems to achieve this.

    I said at the beginning that this book is intended to serve as an introductory textbook; by which I mean this book hopefully serves as a general course reader applicable to a wide range of green criminology or environmental crime modules within undergraduate degree courses. Green criminology is taught at a range of levels within criminology programmes and specialist green criminology modules generally appear after the first year at undergraduate level as well as at Masters level. The selection of topics and manner in which they are presented was deliberately chosen to make the text accessible for this wide range of courses and thus there may well be specific topics covered on individual courses that are not covered here, particularly in respect of those courses that deal more with harm and less with crime and criminal justice. While broad in scope the book is not intended to be a comprehensive handbook as this would require a much longer book. Thus there are undoubtedly some environmental crime or harm activities that should perhaps be discussed but which have not been included, either for reasons of space, because they represent specialist topics not generally taught across the green criminological spectrum or because they merit later or exclusive coverage given their inclusion in current and ongoing research projects. Any errors or omissions are my own and it should be noted that references to law and case law reflect the position as of August 2015, given the fast-moving nature of developments in environmental law and its enforcement. But as this text develops to meet changing needs in the green criminological curriculum I look forward to updating and revising its content in light of comments from students, instructors and practitioners alike.

    Angus Nurse

    Middlesex University, UK


    This book would not have been possible without the support and assistance of several colleagues whose enthusiasm and constructive criticism has assisted greatly in refining many of the original ideas. Matthew Cremin and David Wilson, colleagues at Birmingham City University were instrumental in shaping and constructively criticizing some of the original ideas on wildlife crime that are presented here. Katerina Gachevska, of Leeds Beckett University helped considerably in developing some of the ideas about corporate crime and the negative impact corporations have on the environment. Nic Groombridge of St Mary’s University Twickenham lent his considerable expertise to the examination and questioning of some of the material on masculinities and wildlife crime and Jennifer Maher of South Wales University also provided insight and perspective on animal abuse issues. I’m also grateful to Melissa Jarrell of Texas A & M University at Corpus Christi for her editorship of The Monthly, the online journal of the International Green Criminology Working Group (IGCWG) that published an initial article on the future protection of wildlife from which Chapter 4 derives. I’m also grateful to a number of colleagues who commented on draft versions of some of the chapters and who also examined and peer-reviewed some of the original wildlife crime research updated here. I am also grateful to students of Birmingham City University and Middlesex University who studied the green criminology modules I taught at each institution and who provided invaluable feedback on their needs as new and developing scholars and individuals wishing to develop careers in environmental justice and policy. Their views on what works (and what doesn’t) has considerably shaped my green criminology teaching and learning agenda and considerably influenced the writing of this text and the topics included. Any errors in the material are, of course, my own.

    Green criminology continues to grow as a global discipline yet it remains under-represented in university curricula and is often an option subject rather than a core, compulsory one. Yet it is also a subject that students find stimulating and challenging and taps into contemporary environmentalism, a core interest of university students concerned with corporate environmental wrongdoing, animal abuse and threats to endangered species. I am grateful to Sage and its editors for their support for this project.


    ASPCA   American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

    CITES   The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

    CPS    Crown Prosecution Service

    DEFRA   Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

    EIA    Environmental Investigation Agency

    EPA    Environmental Protection Agency (US)

    EU    European Union

    HSUS   Humane Society of the United States

    IFAW   International Fund for Animal Welfare

    IUCN   International Union for the Conservation of Nature

    LACS   League Against Cruel Sports

    NGO   Non-Governmental Organization

    PETA   People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals

    RSPB   Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

    RSPCA   Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

    SSPCA   Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

    TRAFFIC  The world conservation monitoring body (CITES trade monitors)

    UN    United Nations

    UNEP   United Nations Environment Programme

    UNODC  United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

    WEMS  Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring Network

    WAP   World Animal Protection

    WWF  World Wide Fund for Nature

  • Glossary


    the belief that human beings are the most significant on the planet, also refers to interpreting the world primarily in terms of human values, interests and experiences.


    the shortened and commonly used form of ‘biological diversity’, which refers to the community formed by living organisms and the relations between them. The phrase reflects the diversity of species and diversity of genes within species.

    CER (Corporate Environmental Responsibility)

    umbrella term both for the responsibility that corporations have towards the environment, and for the mechanisms they use to audit, measure and report on that responsibility.

    CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora)

    International Convention that regulates the trade in endangered species, largely via a classification and permit system and the implementation of its rules into national laws. Broadly, the rarer and more endangered the plant or animal, the greater the prohibition on trade.

    Climate change

    describes the inter-related effects of rises in temperature: from changing sea levels and changing ocean currents, through to the impacts of temperature change on local environments that affect the endemic flora and fauna in varying ways (for instance the death of coral due to temperature rises in sea water, or the changed migration patterns of birds).

    Common law

    a system of law that has developed through judicial decisions and precedents to arrive at a common understanding of law. Common law incorporates the system of case law where judges use the precedent from previously decided cases to decide how the law should be applied in current cases.

    CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)

    umbrella term for corporate measures that assess and take responsibility for a company’s effects on the environment and impact on social welfare. The term generally applies to company efforts that go beyond what may be required by regulators or environmental protection groups but can be used to refer to monitoring mechanisms.


    in its negative sense the phrase has come to mean destruction of forests, although its correct technical usage is the permanent removal of forest cover which is not then replaced either by replanting or natural regeneration of trees.

    ECHR (The European Convention on Human Rights)

    ,originally framed as the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, is a human rights mechanism that provides for protection of human rights within the Council of Europe area.

    ECtHR (The European Court of Human Rights)

    ,principal court for considering claims of breaches of ECHR rights and for determining the limitations and scope of such rights.


    a theoretical construction that identifies environmental concerns as being of primary importance.


    a theoretical construction that connects the domination and exploitation of nature with the domination and exploitation of women.

    Ecological justice

    green criminological term referring to the idea of fairness to all, including nonhuman animals and ecosystems, with regard to the environment. Ecological justice argues for greater consideration of things that affect the environment within justice systems.


    used to describe the interdependent community of plants, animals and other organisms and their interaction with the natural world and habitats on which they depend.

    Environmental law

    umbrella term for a range of legislation concerned with the protection of the environment, natural resources and ecosystems.

    EU (The European Union)

    ;collection of 28 Member States which have formed a common market within Europe. The EU is distinguished from the wider Council of Europe area.

    Exotic species

    species not native to the geographical area.

    Global North

    refers to the North-South divide. Global North generally refers to the ‘developed world’ of North America, Western Europe and developed parts of East Asia.

    Global South

    generally refers to the developing countries of the Southern Hemisphere and incorporates Africa, Latin America, ‘developing’ Asia and the Middle East.

    Global warming

    describes the rising of the earth’s temperature over a relatively short time span.

    Habeas corpus

    legal concept used to explore the unlawful detention of someone.

    ICJ (The International Court of Justice)

    ;the United Nations’ primary court, which has jurisdiction over disputes between states, including on environmental matters.


    theoretical conception on the role of ‘maleness’.


    pragmatic political theory that argues for maximizing personal liberty by limiting the interference of governments in free markets. Neoliberalism would argue for minimal environmental regulation on the grounds that, theoretically, markets generally regulate themselves and excessive regulation inhibits effective market operations.

    NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)

    usually created by individuals or companies with no participation or representation of government. The term is increasingly used to refer to think-tanks and voluntary sector agencies who carry out functions beyond pure fundraising and charitable concerns to include some aspects of a policy development or law enforcement role. NGOs vary in their methods. Some act primarily as lobbyists, while others conduct programmes and activities primarily to raise public awareness of an issue and actively carry out functions that the statutory sector are perceived as failing to carry out effectively (e.g. species protection or wildlife law enforcement).

    NhRP (The Nonhuman Rights Project)

    ,a campaigning group that pursues litigation to achieve legal rights and personhood for nonhuman animals.


    contamination of the soil, water or the atmosphere by the discharge of harmful substances that adversely affect the environment.

    Private law

    the law and legal system that governs relationships for the good of society and deals with resolving disputes between individuals (or individuals and companies). Private law can be further divided into contract law, family law and tort law (civil wrong).

    Public law

    the law and legal system governing the relationship between citizens and the state. Public law is divided into administrative law, constitutional law and criminal law. Public law is usually introduced by the government and applies to all citizens, whereas private law only applies to certain individuals and circumstances.

    Species justice

    considers the responsibility man owes to other species as part of broader ecological concerns. The principal idea is that man, as the dominant species on the planet, has considerable potential to destroy nonhuman animals, or, through effective laws and criminal justice regimes, to provide for effective animal protection.

    UNEP (United Nations Environment Program)

    United Nations initiative that aims to be the leading global environmental authority that sets the global environmental agenda and promotes ideas of sustainable development within the United Nations system.

    UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime)

    United Nations body mandated to assist Member States in their struggle against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism.


    a philosophy that determines moral worth by measuring its outcomes in terms of the greatest good for the greatest number of people.

    Wildlife trafficking (illegal wildlife trade)

    the phrase used to describe the illegal trade in wildlife that can include illegal trade, smuggling, poaching, capture or collection of endangered species or protected wildlife or derivatives. The terms wildlife trafficking or illegal wildlife trade are used interchangeably within green criminology and criminal justice discourse to refer to trading in animals whether alive or dead, primarily in contravention of CITES regulations and/or any national legislation which implements CITES.

    Further Reading

    As this book identifies, environmental crime and green criminology are umbrella terms that cover a range of different activities and the actions of different actors and agencies which have been the subject of academic and mainstream media writing. In addition, interest in green crimes as an area of criminological enquiry and the subject of NGO campaigning means that articles on environmental threats and environmental crime appear with relative frequency in the pages of mainstream criminology journals and in the popular press, many of whom employ an environment correspondent. Recent years have also seen a growth in online law, criminology and environmental law journals that cover issues relating to environmental crime and harms such as climate change, pollution and the illegal trade in wildlife. These publications provide a forum for academics, activists and students to discuss environmental and green criminological crime topics. In addition to the sources listed below, special green editions have been published of journals such as Sage’s Theoretical Criminology, Springer’s Crime, Law and Social Change, Criminal Justice Matters, Waterside Press’s Crimsoc: The Journal of Social Criminology and the International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy (Online). A selection of the key established journals and news services relevant to environmental crime and green criminology follows.

    Animal Law Review

    A student-run law review based at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and published bi-annually. Each volume includes two issues: a fall/winter issue and a spring/summer issue.

    Animal Legal and Historic Centre

    Substantial online repository of animal law cases and legal articles housed at Michigan State University College of Law. The site contains both US and UK case law and over 1,400 US statutes.

    British and Irish Legal Information Institute

    Free online searchable database of British and Irish case law and legislation, European Union case law, Law Commission reports, and other law-related British and Irish material.

    Critical Criminology

    Peer-reviewed academic journal exploring social, political and economic justice from alternative perspectives. The journal has published green criminological articles and incorporates green criminology within its ‘alternative’ perspective.

    Duke Environmental Law and Policy Forum

    Student-run environmental law and policy journal available online and covering a wide range of environmental topics.

    Environmental News Network (ENN)

    An online resource for environmental news stories, contains a dedicated wildlife section, a peer news-sharing network and an email newsletter that delivers environmental news stories from around the globe free to its subscribers.

    Environmental Protection Agency (US)

    US governmental agency with a remit to ensure that the US federal laws protecting human health and the environment are enforced fairly and effectively. Details of US legislation and enforcement activities are published on the site.

    Global Animal Law Project

    Online project that aims to create a framework for global discussion on animals in the law, the website also contains a database of animal laws (welfare and anti-cruelty) searchable by country and a matrix of proposals for new animal laws.

    Global Journal of Animal Law

    The journal is a semi-annual online journal offered as a public service by Åbo Akademi University Department of Law, Finland. The journal brings together academics and other experts to define legal approaches to animals in different legal jurisdictions and to analyse the legal status of animals and the effectiveness of animal law. Articles from the journal are available for free download.

    Green Criminology

    Website of the International Green Criminology Working Group (IGCWG) providing information for academics, students and practitioners on green criminological subjects. The website hosts a blog, academic resources and member forums as well as articles published by Members through The Monthly, the IGCWG’s online journal.

    Harvard Environmental Law Review

    Environmental law journal taking a broad view of environmental affairs, which includes land use and property rights; air, water, and noise regulation; toxic substances control; radiation control; energy use; workplace pollution; science and technology control; and resource use and regulation. The journal is edited by Harvard law students.

    International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy

    An open access, blind peer-reviewed journal that seeks to publish critical research about challenges confronting criminal justice systems around the world. The journal’s focus is on: penal policy and punishment in the global era; policing, security and democratic freedoms; sex, gender and justice; eco-justice, corporate crime and corruption; crime, courts and justice institutions; counter colonial criminologies and indigenous perspectives. Volume 3, No. 2 (2014) is a special green issue.

    Journal of Animal Welfare Law

    The journal of the UK’s Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW); two main editions are currently published each year. Back issues of the journal from May 2005 (Issue 1) can be downloaded free of charge from this site.

    Journal for Critical Animal Studies

    The journal of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies is a peer-reviewed interdisciplinary academic (yet readable) journal published online by the Institute. The journal promotes academic study of critical animal issues in contemporary society.

    Journal of Environmental Law

    A peer-reviewed academic journal that looks at legal responses to environmental problems in national and international jurisdictions. The journal appears three times annually, publishing articles across a wide environmental law spectrum.

    Pace Environmental Law Review

    Scholarly journal on environmental law edited by J.D students at Pace Law School and linked to the activities of Pace’s Centre for Environmental Legal Studies and the Pace Environmental Law Society.

    Society and Animals Forum

    The forum provides a number of resources relating to the field of human–animal studies, including a calendar of events for the Animals and Society Institute, links to Society and Animals, the Institute’s journal, its book series and the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science.

    Stanford Journal of Animal Law and Policy

    Online animal law journal covering a range of animal law and policy topics, articles and scholarship from around the world. The website includes access to past volumes.

    Transnational Environmental Law

    Peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to the study of environmental law and governance beyond the state (i.e. in a transnational context). The journal considers legal and regulatory developments and is also concerned with the role of non-state actors.

    Vermont Journal of Environmental Law

    Online environmental law journal covering a wide range of environmental law and policy topics. The website includes access to past volumes.

    William and Mary Environmental Law Review

    Online environmental law journal covering a wide range of environmental law and policy topics. The website includes access to past volumes.

    Useful Organizations

    A number of organizations are actively involved in advocacy, campaigning or litigation aimed at reducing or eliminating the environmental crime topics covered by this book. While the following is not a comprehensive list it identifies those organizations firmly established in the field of environmental crime, wildlife crime, anti-corruption and corporate-crime monitoring and environmental law and justice. The precise nature of the organization’s activity is defined by whether its focus is on particular types of environmental crime or has a subject-specific focus. The list does not endorse any particular organization but is intended to provide readers with some useful information sources and contacts from which they can explore specific topics further.

    Animal Legal Defense Fund

    170 East Cotati Avenue


    CA 94931

    United States


    The Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) campaigns within the US legal system to end animal suffering. A number of resources are available on its website including details of US animal abuse case law, bulletin boards and current news.

    Association of Lawyers for Animal Welfare (ALAW)

    PO Box 67933


    NW1W 8RB

    United Kingdom


    ALAW is a UK-based organization of lawyers and legal academics with interest and experience in animal protection law. ALAW members provide advisory services and research on effective implementation of animal protection law and developing a better legal framework for the protection of animals. ALAW also campaigns for better animal protection law and publishes the Journal of Animal Welfare Law, a legal journal dedicated to animal welfare topics while also carrying wildlife crime articles.

    Centre for Public Integrity

    910 17th Street, NW, Suite 700


    DC 20006

    United States


    US-based non-profit organization working to investigate, analyse and disseminate information on national issues of importance to policymakers, academics and news organizations. The Centre investigates environmental issues and was co-author/publisher of Alan Green’s investigation into the black market for rare and exotic species.

    Coalition Against Wildlife Trafficking (CAWT)

    The Chair of CAWT

    c/o The Director

    International Wildlife Trade Section

    Australian Government Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

    GPO Box 787

    Canberra ACT2601



    International coalition of government partners and NGOs working together to eliminate wildlife trafficking and ensure the effective implementation and enforcement of CITES. UK-based organization, NGO partners include IFAW, IUCN, Save the Tiger Fund, the Smithsonian Institution, WCS, the Wildlife Alliance and WWF (among others).

    Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)

    CITES Secretariat

    International Environment House

    11 Chemin des Anémones






    The CITES Secretariat plays a coordinating, advisory and servicing role in the working of the Convention by assisting with communication and monitoring the implementation of the Convention to ensure that its provisions are respected, and by arranging meetings of the Conference of the Parties and of the permanent Committees at regular intervals and servicing those meetings. The CITES Secretariat also hosts the CITES Trade database and makes public a range of documents relating to the working of CITES.

    Corporate Watch

    c/o Freedom Press

    Angel Alley, 84b Whitechapel High Street

    London, E1 7QX

    United Kingdom


    UK-based independent research group investigating the social and environmental impacts of corporations and corporate power.

    Defenders of Wildlife

    1130 17th Street NW


    DC 20036

    United States


    US-based not-for-profit organization founded in 1947 with a remit to protect and restore the USA’s native wildlife and safeguard wildlife habitats. Defenders’ main focus is restoring wolves to their surviving former habitats in the lower 48 states of the USA and to challenge efforts to reduce the protection afforded to wolves under US law. It also works to prevent the extinction of other North American wildlife and to prevent cruelty to wildlife. Defenders of Wildlife have offices in nine US states and Mexico, in addition to its Washington DC headquarters.

    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

    Nobel House

    17 Smith Square


    SW1P 3JR

    United Kingdom


    The UK government department with responsibility for environmental issues, including: wildlife crime, sustainable development and rural communities. DEFRA’s website contains a wildlife crime section covering aspects of UK wildlife crime and links to the website for its Partnership for Action on Wildlife Crime (PAW), the body that coordinates UK wildlife crime policy via a partnership between government and NGOs.


    50 California Street, Suite 500

    San Francisco

    CA 94111

    United States


    Earthjustice is a not-for-profit public interest law firm originally founded in 1981 as the Sierra Club Legal Defense fund. Earthjustice lawyers litigate on behalf of US citizens in environmental cases, in particular litigating in cases involving the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Natural Environment Policy Act. In addition, Earthjustice’s campaigning work highlights current environmental threats and provides details of campaign work required to improve environmental protection. In addition to its San Francisco headquarters, Earthjustice has regional offices across the USA in Anchorage, Bozeman, California, Denver, Florida, Honolulu, New York, Seattle and Washington.

    The Environmental Investigations Agency (EIA)

    62–63 Upper Street


    N1 0NY

    United Kingdom


    EIA is an international campaigning organization that investigates and exposes environmental crime primarily through the use of undercover investigations using the evidence gained in investigations in advocacy and lobbying campaigns. EIA has published investigative reports and policy documents on various wildlife and environmental crime issues and has also produced documentaries on various aspects of wildlife crime. In addition to its London office EIA has a US office in Washington.

    Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF)

    1 Amwell Street


    EC1R 1UL

    United Kingdom


    The EJF is a registered charity that works on the protection of the natural environment and combating environmental abuses. EJF provides film and advocacy training to individuals and grassroots organizations (primarily in the Global South) and campaigns internationally to raise awareness of environmental issues facing its grassroots partners and vulnerable communities. EJF publishes a range of environmental research reports and campaign materials and in addition to its team of campaigners and film-makers based at its headquarters in London also works with partners in Brazil, Vietnam, Mali, Sierra Leone, Uzbekistan, Mauritius and Indonesia.

    Environmental Protection Agency US (EPA)

    Ariel Rios Building

    1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.


    DC 20460

    United States


    The EPA is a US governmental agency with a remit to protect human health and the environment. The EPA is responsible for enforcing federal environmental laws, developing and enforcing these laws by writing regulations that states and tribes enforce through their own regulations. The EPA also publishes information on environmental crimes and its regulatory activities. The EPA has 10 regional offices across the USA, each of which is responsible for several states and territories.

    The European Commission Environment Directorate

    European Commission

    Environment DG

    B – 1049 Brussels



    The Environment Directorate of the EU publishes information on European wildlife trade regulations, threats to wildlife and wildlife trade issues in the EU.

    Friends of the Earth

    1100 15th Street NW

    11th Floor

    Washington, DC 20005

    United States


    Friends of the Earth is a global campaigning organization employing advocacy, policy-analysis and litigation to achieve environmental protection and change or develop effective environmental policy. Friends of the Earth International has member groups in 76 countries covering Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, North America and Russia.

    Greenpeace (UK)

    Canonbury Villas


    N1 2PN

    United Kingdom


    Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization working to defend the natural world and promote peace by investigating, exposing and confronting environmental abuse, and championing environmentally responsible solutions. Greenpeace works on a range of issues including: climate change; marine protection; nuclear disarmament; anti-fracking; and an end to the use of toxic chemicals. Greenpeace has a range of country offices across the globe including: Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Russia and South Africa.

    Humane Society of the United States (HSUS)

    The Humane Society of the United States

    2100 L St., NW


    DC 20037

    United States


    US animal protection organization with approximately 10 million members and a network of regional offices across the USA.

    Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS)

    PO Box 4293


    NY 14852

    United States


    The Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS) is an interdisciplinary scholarly non-profit animal protection centre that provides education policy, research and analysis. The ICAS was originally formed in 2001 as the Centre on Animal Liberation affairs and changed its name to the ICAS in 2007. In addition to publishing the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, the ICAS organizes annual critical animal studies conferences in the USA and Europe.

    International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW)

    290 Summer Street

    Yarmouth Port

    MA 02675

    United States


    Animal Advocacy group based in the UK, originally formed to protest against the culling of seals in Canada but now working globally on animal welfare and animal cruelty issues. IFAW works to prevent the elephant ivory trade and the extinction of whales. In addition to its US international office there is a UK office based in London.

    International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

    IUCN Conservation Centre

    Rue Mauverney 28

    1196, Gland



    The IUCN is a global environmental network and democratic membership union with more than 1,000 government and NGO member organizations, and some 10,000 volunteer scientists in more than 160 countries. Its priority work areas are biodiversity, climate change, sustainable energy, the development of a green economy and helping governments to understand the link between nature conservation and human well-being.

    Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP)

    The Nonhuman Rights Project

    5195 NW 112th Terrace

    Coral Springs

    FL 33076

    United States


    NhRP employs education and litigation as tools to pursue legal rights for nonhuman animals. The NhRP describes its mission as changing the common law status of at least some nonhuman animals from mere ‘things’ that lack the capacity to possess any legal right, to ‘persons’ who possess fundamental rights including bodily integrity and bodily liberty. The NhRP files cases in the courts in order to pursue legal rights for animals via the common law. Founder and President Steven Wise also publishes extensively on legal rights for nonhumans.

    Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW)

    PAW Secretariat

    Zone 1/14

    Temple Quay House

    2 The Square

    Temple Quay


    BS1 6EB

    United Kingdom


    PAW is a UK-based multi-agency body comprising representatives of statutory agencies and NGOs involved in UK wildlife law enforcement. Its secretariat is hosted by DEFRA (see above) and maintains the PAW website, the distribution of PAW’s email bulletins and publicizes PAW’s activities.

    People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)

    501 Front St.


    VA 23510

    United States


    PETA is one of the largest animal rights organizations in the world with a global support base in excess of 3 million (members and supporters). PETA predominantly campaigns against animal cruelty on factory farms, in the clothing trade, in laboratories, and in the entertainment industry. Its work includes high-profile campaigning, advocacy, public education, cruelty investigations, animal rescue and legislative work aimed at changing animal protection laws.

    The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA)

    Wilberforce Way



    West Sussex

    RH13 9RS

    United Kingdom


    A UK-based charity that works to prevent cruelty to, the causing of unnecessary suffering to and the neglect of animals in England and Wales. A uniformed Inspectorate investigates cruelty offences, while a plain-clothes and undercover unit called the Special Operations Unit (SOU) deals with more serious offences and ‘low-level’ organized animal crime such as dog-fighting and badger-baiting. The RSPCA has a network of branch offices across England and Wales.

    The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB)

    The Lodge



    SG19 2DL

    United Kingdom


    The RSPB is a conservation charity that campaigns for the protection of wild birds and their environment. An in-house investigations section carries out investigations into wild bird crime and advises the police and others, as well as publishes annual reports on bird crime in the UK and a quarterly investigations newsletter on bird crime problems, sometimes with an EU slant. The charity is UK based but has international offices and is part of Birdlife International, a global network of bird conservation organizations.

    The Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA)

    Kingseat Road




    KY11 8RY

    Website –

    The SSPCA is the Scottish counterpart to the RSPCA. The SSPCA works to prevent cruelty to, the causing of unnecessary suffering to and the neglect of animals in Scotland.

    Sierra Club

    National Headquarters

    85 Second Street, 2nd Floor

    San Francisco

    CA 94105

    United States


    The Sierra Club is a US-based grassroots environmental organization with a remit to protect communities and wild places and to restore the quality of the natural environment. In addition to its national headquarters in San Francisco the Sierra Club has a legislative office in Washington DC and regional offices across the USA. In addition to campaigning and publishing research and policy documents on wildlife and environmental issues the Sierra Club has also employed strategic legal action and regulatory advocacy to protect US wildlife and the environment.

    TRACE Wildlife Forensics Network

    Royal Zoological Society of Scotland


    EH12 6TS

    United Kingdom


    TRACE is an international NGO that aims to promote the use of forensic science in biodiversity conservation and the investigation of wildlife crime. The TRACE network brings together forensic scientists and enforcement agencies in order to exchange information on the latest challenges facing wildlife law enforcement and modern techniques for tackling them.


    TRAFFIC International

    219a Huntingdon Rd


    CB3 ODL

    United Kingdom


    TRAFFIC is the wildlife trade-monitoring arm of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN). It mainly investigates compliance with CITES and related trade in endangered species, TRAFFIC has regional offices in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe and Oceania supported by a Central Secretariat based in the UK.

    Transparency International

    Alt-Moabit 96

    10559 Berlin



    Transparency International is a campaigning NGO that describes its mission as to ‘stop corruption and promote transparency’, accountability and integrity at all levels and across all sectors of society. The NGO publishes a range of reports and makes anti-corruption resources freely available through its website.

    The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society (WDCS)

    Brookfield House

    38 St Paul Street



    SN15 1LJ

    United Kingdom


    WDCS is a global charity dedicated to the conservation and welfare of all cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises). It has regional offices in the UK, Latin America, Germany, North America and Australasia. In addition to its campaigning work WDCS conducts investigations work to expose abuses of wildlife regulations and advises governments and regulatory bodies on the working of conventions and other mechanisms needed and intended to protect cetaceans.

    World Animal Protection (WAP)

    5th Floor

    222 Grays Inn Road


    WC1X 8HB

    United Kingdom


    World Animal Protection (formerly the World Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is an animal welfare and anti-cruelty charity with a global remit. WAP campaigns for the protection of companion animals, against commercial exploitation of wildlife and against intensive farming, long-distance transport and slaughter of animals for food. It has regional offices in the USA (Boston), Australia (Sydney), Asia (Thailand), Brazil (Rio de Janeiro), Canada (Toronto), Sweden, South America (Colombia), New Zealand (Auckland), the Netherlands, India (New Delhi), Germany (Berlin) and China (Beijing).

    The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)

    WWF International, Gland (Secretariat)

    Av. du Mont-Blanc 1196 Gland


    +41 22 364 91 11

    +41 22 364 88 36


    The World Wide Fund for Nature is an independent conservation network working in more than 90 countries. A registered charity in the UK with campaigning interests in wildlife trade, threats to endangered species and their habitats. Its main regional offices are in the USA (Washington), Australia (Sydney), China (Beijing), Brazil (Brasilia), Canada (Toronto), France (Paris), Germany (Frankfurt), India (New Delhi), Japan (Tokyo), Sweden (Solna), South America (Colombia), New Zealand (Wellington), the Netherlands (Zeist), Pakistan (Lahore), Spain (Madrid), Switzerland (Zurich) and the United Kingdom (Godalming).


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