People not Poaching News
Issue 1, 2021
We're back with our first 2021 issue of the People not Poaching (PnP) newsletter, bringing 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  (
Community rangers - an effective approach to tackling IWT?
We hosted a webinar on Tuesday 30 March 2021 that showcased examples of community rangers in anti-poaching initiatives and discussed successes and challenges of this approach to tackling illegal wildlife trade.
The webinar showed how different types of community rangers operate in different contexts, with unique examples from Cambodia, Indonesia, Zambia and Zimbabwe sharing their lessons learned. Discussion also focused on how best to support community ranger programmes, including the importance of safeguarding and prioritising the wellbeing of individuals.
The overarching message of all speakers is the need to build trust between local communities and project implementers and partners. This is a key factor for success in Namibia’s Conservancy Rhino Ranger Incentive Program, led by Save the Rhino Trust. Here, communities choose to report on poaching activities because they have been given rights and ownership over wildlife.
Further details are discussed in a follow-up blog and if you missed the webinar you can catch up here with a recording.
Image: Local scout looks out over Lake Natron, Tanzania (Credit: Liv Wilson-Holt/IIED)
Spotlight on community-based approaches to IWT
Sustainable development and conservation in Colombia
Proyecto Tití works primarily in the northern forests of Colombia to conserve cotton-top tamarins and their habitats, combining field research and forest restoration with community engagement and education activities. Their approach is positively impacting forest cover, supporting local livelihoods and contributing to a positive conservation attitude not just locally but also further afield. 
Find out more about their success here.
Regenerating Akagera National Park in Rwanda
African Parks and the Rwanda Development Board are together managing the regeneration of Akagera after years of neglect following the civil war. The approach includes the reintroduction of flagship species, strengthened law enforcement and community engagement activities such as education, employment and human-wildlife conflict mitigation. Anecdotal evidence suggests that poaching has reduced due to community buy-in.
Interested? Click here to keep reading.
Conservation through music in Nepal
Greenhood Nepal developed a collection of stories, performed as songs, called Ban Ko Katha to share experiences of the difficulties faced by those arrested for wildlife crime in Nepal. Greenhood was motivated to create these stories after hearing from individuals in Nepal who were in prison for IWT offences, discovering that many of these people were unaware of the potential consequences of engaging in wildlife crime.
Find out more about this unique approach here.
Image: Poster of the Ban Ko Katha Bolchha Sarangi. (Credit: Greenhood Nepal)
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.
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It no longer pays to poach: Docu-series shines a spotlight on community-based protection of rhinos in Namibia
The Namibia Nature Foundation, with contributions from WWF, Save the Rhino Trust Namibia and the Integrated Rural Development & Nature Conservation, has recently released a docu-series titled The Last Free Rhinos. The series focuses on how collaboration, government will and community engagement are protecting black rhino across the Kunene region in Namibia.
The docu-series follows the story of Namibia’s renowned CBNRM programme - a human-rights based approach that gives ownership of wildlife and natural resources to rural and Indigenous communities, allowing them to benefit from it. Local voices are heard throughout the series and are supportive of the message that rhinos are a source of income and livelihood that must be protected for future generations. Namibia has the largest population of free ranging black rhino in the world and the series explores why the country has been so successful in their conservation efforts.
The Last Free Rhinos, Episode One
Highlights from our Midweek Material
Arias M, et al (2021) Complex interactions between commercial and noncommercial drivers of illegal trade for a threatened felid. Animal Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/acv.12683 (Open access)
This paper explores drivers of jaguar killing, trade and consumption in Bolivia, finding that relationships between local people and jaguars are complex, and largely driven by factors including traditional practices, opportunism and human–jaguar conflict.
Mkono M, Rastegar R and L Ruhanen (2021) Empowering women to protect wildlife in former hunting tourism zones: A political ecology of Akashinga, Zimbabwe. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2021.1900205 (Open access)
This paper explores how social justice tenets are used to frame and implement anti-poaching initiatives in Sub-Saharan Africa by examining the Akashinga model, a Zimbabwean woman-only anti-poaching initiative.
Prinsloo D, Riley-Smith S and D Newton (2021) Trading years for wildlife: An investigation into wildlife crime from the perspectives of offenders in Namibia. TRAFFIC. Available here (Open access)
The report explores motivations of 45 wildlife crime offenders in Namibia and reveals how economic, social, nutritional and functional factors motivated the offenders to commit crimes.
Shao M-L, et al (2021) Understanding wildlife crime in China: Socio-demographic profiling and motivation of offenders. PLoS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0246081 (Open access)
The authors explore socio-demographics and motivations of wildlife offenders in China, finding that offenders are mainly men aged 30-44 with less schooling. They suggest mitigation approaches could include punitive disincentives and alternative incomes.
Woodside D, et al (2021) Building healthy relationships between rangers and communities in and around protected areas. Parks Stewardship Forum. DOI: 10.5070/P537151747 (Open access)
The authors identify and examine the practices and key issues to building healthy relationships between rangers and communities in and around protected areas, and provide recommendations for action.
International Women's Day recognises the key role women have in fighting wildlife crime
Conservation is predominantly male-led, but a recent paper discusses why it’s so important that ranger programmes strive toward gender equity by making conservation a more inclusionary place for women to work. Current estimates guess that just 3-11% of the ranger workforce around the world are women and the paper outlines why this is a problem and makes recommendations for achieving a better gender balance in the future.

The authors of the paper also provide examples of how women’s participation in conservation efforts can contribute to more successful outcomes and on 8 March this year many similar stories were shared to celebrate International Women’s Day. Many of the experiences written about share a common theme of pioneering women who overcame additional challenges to get to the position they are in today. Luckily, the tide is slowly turning and women are now more involved than ever in fighting wildlife crime in a number of roles, such as influencers amongst their community, rangers, scientists and in government positions.

In our recent webinar, two groups of female rangers, from Indonesia and Zambia, shared their experiences of working in what is traditionally considered a male profession. They described a sense of pride in the difference they are making to conservation efforts in the areas they work, with the Zambian rangers sharing that although it was rare for women to work as rangers, they didn’t want to sit around waiting for men to carry out these vital roles.  
Call for community-based solutions to IWT

If you work on, or know of, an initiative you think would be relevant to our platform please get in touch with us.
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).

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

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