People not Poaching News
Issue 3, 2020
Welcome to our third edition of the People not Poaching (PnP) newsletter. We hope you’re all staying safe and are here to bring you all the latest news and research related to communities, poaching and IWT.
Got some news you’d like to share? Know a community-based approach to IWT that you think deserves to be showcased? Get in touch!
Liv and Francesca (
Join an online learning series for the East African Community region on communities and IWT
IIED is partnering with IUCN ESARO and IUCN SULi to conduct familiarisation and awareness raising on the application of the ‘Local Communities: First Line of Defence against Illegal Wildlife Trade’.
The series is designed to support wildlife conservation and management authorities in the East African Community partner states, as well as relevant NGOs and community-based organisations in the region and will run until December - find out more here.
You can catch up on the first two sessions on our events page. The remaining five sessions will be targeted specifically on deepening understanding of aspects on the FLoD methodology.
If you are working in a relevant area and would like to join for the remainder of the series, please get in touch with Leo Niskanen (IUCN) at
Participants at a FLoD event in Kenya. Credit: IUCN.
Spotlight on community-based approaches to IWT
Celebrating the whale shark in India
In the state of Gujarat, India, whale sharks are now a celebrated species, with two dedicated community events each year: International Whale Shark Day and Gujarat Whale Shark Day. As part of this project led by the Wildlife Trust of India, fishermen who once hunted the sharks are now paid compensation for damaged nets and have been trained to document releases on camera – building a sense of ownership and inspiring a new conservation ethic.
Find out more about their approach here.
Strengthening community-led wildlife protection in Tanzania
Honeyguide Foundation has partnered with three Wildlife Management Areas in northern Tanzania to build capacity for community-based anti-poaching efforts. The approach puts communities at the centre of conservation by supporting them to manage their lands and protect wildlife from unsustainable use. Significant impacts have already been achieved, with no elephants poached in the project areas since 2015!
Find out more about their success here.
Protecting macaw nests in Mexico
In the last 12 years Mexican NGO Unidos por las Guacamayas has only documented three poaching incidents of the military macaw in their project area. The species is the key focus of their work, which aims to change perceptions of local people about the environment and includes working with older field workers as well as younger generations.
Interested? Click here to keep reading.
Environmental education at school, using a colouring book made with the help of Defenders of Wildlife México. Credit: Claudia Cinta.
Stay up to date on Twitter and Facebook
To stay up to date with our spotlights and midweek material follow our Twitter @CommunitiesIWT and Facebook @peoplenotpoaching. Every week we post new updates, plus on Monday and Thursday we post community-based solutions to IWT and on Wednesday our latest midweek material.
Sign up to this newsletter!
Leaked report outlines US funding cuts for conservation
Survival International, the organisation for tribal peoples’ rights, has reported on a leaked document from the US Government on their investigation into alleged human rights abuses by several prominent conservation NGOs in Africa and Asia.
The investigation began last year after media reports surfaced indicating that abuses including torture and rape had been committed under USAID and USFWS funded conservation programmes. The leaked document outlines decisions made as a result of the investigation, including requirements to obtain free, prior and informed consent of affected communities and the halting of funding for law enforcement activities, such as community patrols.
You can read more about the investigation and outcomes, plus find the leaked document, on Survival International’s website.
Highlights from our Midweek Material
1. Acharya K, et al (2020) Policy and management actions that resulted in curbing rhinoceros poaching. Journal of Applied Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2664.13692 (Open access)
The authors argue that coordinated actions that led to (a) strengthened institutional mechanisms, (b) improved community participation and (c) enhanced interagency coordination all focused on dismantling illegal trade networks contributed to curbing poaching in Nepal.
2. BIOSEC (2020) Policy Briefs on Illegal Wildlife Trade. Available here (Open access)
The briefs provide crucial information on the drivers and responses to IWT and make recommendations for shaping conservation policies based on the findings of research.
3. Cassidy L and J Salerno (2020) The need for a more inclusive science of elephant conservation. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12717 (Open access)
The authors argue that elephant conservation policy must take into account the voices of the people bearing the cost of living with wildlife, as well as the nations with the responsibility of hosting elephant populations.
4. Dickman A, et al (2020) Wars over wildlife: Green militarisation and just war theory. Conservation and Society. DOI: 10.4103/cs.cs_19_34 (Open access)
Conservationists have declared a 'war' on poaching, with extensive military resources deployed to combat it. The authors scrutinise this issue using 'Just War' principles, to explore whether the 'war' on poaching meets the criteria expected of armed conflict.
5. Sánchez-Mercado A, et al (2020) Using peoples’ perceptions to improve conservation programmes: The Yellow-Shouldered Amazon in VenezuelaDiversity. DOI: 10.3390/d12090342 (Open access)
The authors evaluate the social context influencing illegal harvesting of the threatened yellow-shouldered Amazon and the effectiveness of a longstanding conservation programme in the Macanao Peninsula, Venezuela.
The People Beyond the Poaching: Interviewing convicted poachers in South Africa
Our partner organisation TRAFFIC has released a report featuring interviews with 73 offenders across 25 correctional facilities in South Africa. They found that the majority of individuals were convicted for rhino related offences and 66% were aged between 22-35. Interviews also show that most had low education levels and were unemployed, with the lack of economic alternatives the primary motivation for 70% of individuals.
The report highlights that many of these individuals felt they had to poach to provide for their families, and that their socio-economic situation left them vulnerable to exploitation from those further up the criminal supply chain.
Read the full report and watch the accompanying video on TRAFFIC’s website
Interesting webinars
Sadly, it seems it will be a while before we can hold in-person events, so here’s a couple of interesting webinars and talks.
We are hoping to hold our next People not Poaching webinar later this year, so keep your eyes peeled for updates!
Resetting our relationship with nature in a post-COVID world
Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland, Lead Researcher of the Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade and Professor Sir Charles Godfray, Director of the Oxford Martin School, discussed how wider economic shocks have affected the wildlife trade, particularly in Africa, and how to fulfil the bold targets for nature recovery.
Click here to watch the talk.
Will Covid-19 Tame Wildlife Trade?
Aron White from the Environmental Investigation Agency’s spoke to Nadya Hutagalung, UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador, on the interlinkages between global wildlife trade, its demand, use, and different regulatory approaches.
Catch up here.

Covid-19 and Adaptive Leadership: Enhancing Integration to Build Back Better
Listen to conservation and development leaders sharing lessons they have learned during the Covid-19 crisis and measures that they are putting in place to ensure that all the three dimensions of sustainable development, social, economic and environment, are met.
Watch the recording here.
Call for community-based solutions to IWT
We recently celebrated over 100 case studies! Find out more about the milestone and what lessons we’ve learnt so far in this news story from TRAFFIC.
If you have, or know of, a case study you think would be relevant to our site please
get in touch with us.
Makame Wildlife Management Area planning session for Village Game Scouts. Credit: Honeyguide Foundation.
This newsletter is an information service published by People not Poaching, part of IIED led project 'Learning and action for community engagement against wildlife crime' (LeAP).

To subscribe to this newsletter, please
sign up here.

For more information on the LeAP project, 
visit our website.
LeAP is funded by the UK government's Illegal Wildlife Trade Challenge Fund.

Copyright © 2020 People Not Poaching: The Communities and IWT Learning Platform, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can
update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp