Over the years, organized criminal groups have established their dominance by engaging in various illegal activities with the hope of yielding favorable outcomes at the expense of the nature and other aspects of existence. In the recent past, drug cartels in an attempt to diversify their operations have ventured into animal smuggling because of the huge benefits associated with the venture (Pavleska & Kerr, 2020). From this realization, the motive of engaging in animal smuggling not only exposes the target audience to health risk but also interferes with the ecosystem, which is guided by the need to strike a balance that influences outcomes in the contemporary society.
Many of the targeted animals are extinct species, a move that interferes with their continuity in the modern world. Based on the motive of the smuggling groups, the illegal wildlife trade affects a significant aspect of existence such as logging of exotic woods, endangered animals, and harvested wildlife for traditional medicinal use (Rice, 2008). It should be noted that the cultural and religious beliefs among various population groups offer the highest incentive to organized criminal groups because of their position in the criminal ecosystem as a ready market. Today, animal smuggling is competing with drug trade in terms of returns, demonstrating the changing context where individuals encounter numerous challenges addressing the issue.
After watching the video on “Why Animal Smuggling is the Next Drug Trade,” I realized that governments around the world have been unable to fully address animal smuggling because of the approaches used by the organized criminal organizations to execute the illegal trade. However, progressive countries such as the U.S. and Russia have adopted measures similar to those used to combat drug trade within their jurisdiction (Stories, 2015). For instance, confiscated animal products smuggled into the countries are destroyed on sight to discourage the illegal practice by killing the motivation of the smugglers and target audience. Therefore, embracing stringent measures creates an enabling environment for government authorities to curtail the efforts of organized criminal groups to engage in the criminal activities.
I agree with your argument that environmental crime has become a serious criminal activity because of its ability to threaten animal and plant sustainability in their natural habitat. While the myopic organized criminal groups only focus on the short-term benefits associated with their actions, there is a need to observe the impact of the practices on the ecosystem. Some of the strengths in your argument are enhanced by your ability to define how the crime affects the biodiversity in the current ecosystem. Likewise, you have highlighted the cause and effect of the environmental crime by focusing on the vulnerabilities within the wildlife conservation system, which motivate organized criminal organizations to execute the crimes. However, you have not included the approaches that governments should use to combat the crime.
Reading your views on illegal logging was exciting as you took a different approach to discuss about the environmental crime and its impact on the ecosystem. I loved the way you focused on Indonesia because of its central role in illegal logging. Talking about specific countries and the measures taken by governments to contain the issue helps individuals understand the impact of the underlying problem on their lifestyle. Your post scores highly on its ability to identify the motivation of organized criminal groups to participate in illegal logging. I was also amazed by your decision to categorically highlighting the shortcomings of ignoring the issue. However, you could state how other countries are benefitting from the illegal logging in Indonesia and their contribution towards the environmental imbalance.