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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.
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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