Information for 14648IIED
Conservation, crime and communities: case studies of efforts to engage local communities in tackling illegal wildlife trade
Backgrounder, 52 pages
Wildlife crime is at the top of the international conservation agenda. Current strategies for addressing it focus on law enforcement, reducing consumer demand and engaging local communities in conservation. To date considerably more attention has been paid to the first two strategies than to the third. This volume of case studies explores a range of different models of community engagement – from awareness-raising to community-based rapid response teams – and a wider range of conservation incentives – from land leases, to sustainable use schemes, to reinvigorated cultural institutions and social status. The case studies highlight that while community engagement is not a panacea for tackling wildlife crime – and indeed there are examples where it has proved to be a real challenge – it can, under the right circumstances, be highly effective. We need to learn from these examples. In the long run, the survival of some of the world’s most iconic wildlife species lies in the hands of the communities who live alongside them.
Since mid-2014, IIED has co-organised a series of events to highlight the importance of local communities in efforts to tackle illegal wildlife trade, and the impact of heavy-handed approaches to law enforcement on these communities and on their incentives to engage in conservation.
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