The Illegal Trade In Wildlife Resources And The Implication For International Security: A Case Of Poaching Of Ivory In Kenya.
This study focused on the impact of illegal wildlife trade on international security using Kenya as a case study with a bias on ivory poaching in Kenya. It therefore examined the poaching trends as well as the rationale for poaching in Kenya linking these two to armed-non state actors and transnational organized crime networks (TNOCs). The study set out two hypotheses namely: that the increased involvement of armed non-state actors and TNOCs in illegal trade in wildlife resources undermines states stability and that increased poaching and trafficking of wildlife resources is fueled by corruption and undermines governance and rule of law. The study relied on the liberalism theory, which appreciates the plurality of actors in the international system. The study established that illegal trade in ivory has necessitated and increased militarization of poaching and wildlife protection. Poverty; weak legislation penalizing illegal trade; corruption among law enforcement agencies; and thriving ivory consumer markets particularly in East Asia, were identified as the key drivers of this illicit trade making it “low-risk and high-profit”. The study has recommended strengthening of national legislation; strengthening of capacities of regulatory institutions; increasing international cooperation and multiagency collaborations; and tackling demand through awareness campaigns on the role of illegal trade in wildlife, as responses towards reduction of illegal trade in wildlife species and products.