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Wildlife crime: a review of the evidence on drivers and impacts in Uganda

Wildlife crime is an issue of considerable international concern. And with the recent increase in the illegal wildlife trade, and the increasing militarisation with which some kinds of wildlife crime are carried out, concern is growing. Poverty is often cited as a driver of wildlife crime, but wildlife crime, and responses to it, can also have negative impacts on poor people.

Using Uganda as a case study, we review the evidence for the following potential linkages. Is poverty a driver of wildlife crime? What impacts does wildlife crime have on poor people? And what impacts do responses to wildlife crime have on poor people?

Despite contradictory evidence, we conclude that poverty is one driver of wildlife crime among many, and that in general wildlife crime tends to have positive impacts on poor people who engage in it. Improved monitoring and evaluation would allow us to more confidently determine the impact of responses to wildlife crime on local people.

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Harrison M. et al. (2015) Wildlife crime: a review of the evidence on drivers and impacts in Uganda. IIED, London.

Project information

International wildlife crime has moved to the top of the conservation and development agenda following the recent surge in illegal poaching and trafficking of wildlife. But calls for law enforcement to combat the involvement of criminal syndicates and militia risk alienating rural communities. How can responses be more pro-poor? This project aimed to build capacity for pro-poor responses in Uganda through learning more about the interactions between wildlife crime and poverty.

More at www.iied.org:
Building capacity for pro-poor responses to wildlife crime in Uganda

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