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Beyond enforcement: engaging communities in tackling wildlife crime

Alarming rises in illegal wildlife trade over the last decade show that tougher law enforcement is not enough to stop poachers from devastating populations of iconic or endangered species. However, the trend towards increasingly militarised law enforcement can harm communities who live alongside wildlife and have real power to protect it. A recent symposium led by IUCN’s Sustainable Use and Livelihoods (SULi) Specialist Group, along with IIED and other partners, discussed the incentives and governance structures needed to effectively engage local people in wildlife conservation. Local people must be allowed to benefit from conservation efforts and be supported by responsive, efficient law enforcement agencies as equal partners in the fight against wildlife crime.

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Successfully fighting wildlife crime depends on engaging with local communities. IIED is working with partners to find out how actions to improve local livelihoods can reduce poaching and promote conservation.

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Community-based wildlife management as a tool to tackle illegal wildlife trade