17th December 2020

Dr Emiline Smith, Lecturer in Art Crime and Criminology at the University of Glasgow, has been awarded a Scottish Funding Council GCRF grant as the Principal Investigator for the project ‘Art, Feathers & Crime: New Approaches to Studying Natural and Cultural Heritage Trafficking in Indonesia’. Together with Dr Chloe Heys (Staffordshire University), Dr Tular Sudarmadi (Gadjah Mada University), Dr Adam Miller (Planet Indonesia) and Dr Panggah Ardiyansyah (Borobudur Conservation Office), the project combines zoological and criminological research methods to assess how and why trafficking of antiquities and birdlife occurs in Indonesia, and if/how these global illicit trades converge along global transnational crime networks (whether physically or digitally). Dr Smith said: “We are thrilled to be offered a chance to build new partnerships, provide opportunities for Early Career Researchers and strengthen capacity through this project.”
The project aims to understand the key issues and stakeholders involved, and the physical and contextual transformations that these items undergo as they move through the supply-demand chain, in order to assess why and how looting and poaching takes place and the impact of this loss. Through this, the project will identify how countermeasures for each of these illicit trades can mutually inform and strengthen each other, to design effective strategies tackling illicit trafficking networks from and within Indonesia. This analysis is particularly timely amid the global pandemic, as the project will trace the impact of the global pandemic on these illicit economies while it occurs.