Poaching and the Funding of International Terrorism: A Case Study of Kenya

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The study has the aim of determining whether wildlife poaching provides funds for terrorism. It sought to answer the question; “what is it that drives wildlife poaching and international terrorism and whether the two have had any relationship between 2011and 2015?” The study further sought to establish the causes of wildlife poaching and the existing measures employed to curb the crime in Kenya. The scholarly literature reviewed has limited information on whether the two crimes have a relationship. The study objective assumed that there is a relationship between the two crimes and endeavoured to look for data to proof the same and found some relationship.

The theory used by the study is greed and grievance developed by Frances Stewart and Paul Collier which explains how greed and grievance is motivating poaching of rhinos and elephants and that the proceeds have been used in terrorism activities in Kenya between 2011 and 2015.

The methodology used by the study includes looking at the various sources of international terrorism funding and the role of wildlife poaching in terrorism in Kenya. The analysis of what mechanism was employed by Kenya in addressing the menace of wildlife poaching and its effects was made. The study established that proceeds from wildlife poaching had indeed funded terrorism in Kenya between 2011 and 2015 the difficulties of getting data/information notwithstanding.

The study findings are that terrorism organizations need resources to survive and accomplish its objective and destruction of its economic base will hinder its operations. The resources required by terrorists include, money and other negotiable instruments, tangible resource, i.e. material goods with monetary value and intangible resources which are not materials where monetary value cannot easily be attached but have been traded for money.

There are international, national and local levels of causes of poaching and the ever increasing demand for the illegal wildlife products where consumers are prepared to pay high prices for the product has been a constant reason for wildlife poaching. States employed various mechanisms in dealing with the scourge of wildlife poaching including law enforcement, stakeholders and community engagement and multilateral environmental agreements like CITES among others.

The study has contributed to the body of knowledge through its findings and policy recommendations of increasing collaboration among law enforcement agencies, sustained financial, technical and political support by the national and county governments and recognize wildlife sector as a key component of Kenya’s economy and include wildlife crime in the category of economic crimes. Implementation of national land use policy that restrict sub-division of marginal land especially those within wildlife migratory and dispersal areas, lobbying for international ban on trade in wildlife and their products during multilateral meetings like CITES conference of parties, enhanced political support in making trade in wildlife and their products very expensive venture, use of mutual legal assistance mechanism in repatriating seized wildlife and their trophies and extradition of international smugglers and traffickers to face trial in range States where wildlife poaching takes place are some policy recommendation made by the study.

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