Inclusive Anti-poaching? Exploring the Potential and Challenges of Community-based Anti-Poaching
In acknowledgement that the largely (para)militarized approach to anti-poaching has its limitations, alternative approaches to conservation law enforcement are being sought. One alternative focuses on including people from local communities in anti-poaching, what we call inclusive anti-poaching. Using a case study of a community scout programme from southern Mozambique, located adjacent South Africa’s Kruger National Park, we examine the potential of a community scout initiative to move towards a more inclusive and sustainable approach to anti-poaching and conservation. While highlighting its challenges and potential drawbacks, we argue that including local people into conservation law enforcement efforts can help address poaching and problematic aspects of current anti-poaching measures. However, to be a genuine and sustainable alternative, community ranger programmes must be part of a broader shift towards developing local wildlife economies that benefits local communities as opposed to supporting pre-existing anti-poaching interventions.
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