Engaging local communities in tackling illegal wildlife trade. Can a ‘theory of change’ help?
Recent alarming rises in illegal wildlife trade (IWT) show that tough law enforcement is not enough to stop poachers devastating populations of iconic or endangered species. Local people must be empowered to benefit from conservation and be supported to partner with law enforcement agencies in the fight against wildlife crime. Here we present a ‘Theory of Change’ for understanding how community-level interventions can help in tackling IWT. Do the ‘pathways’ we present reflect your experiences from IWT-related projects and programmes? Do the assumptions that we suggest hold true? Please join the discussion and help expand the theory to support better policy and practice on the ground.