The Conversation: Foreign “Conservation Armies” in Africa May Do More Harm Than Good

British troops are collaborating with Gabonese park rangers in an effort to fight Boko Haram, which is allegedly using ivory poaching to fund its terrorist activities. This type of “conservation army” is emblematic of rising militarization to prevent elephant and rhino poaching in Africa. From groups of Western army veterans to “foreign national armies, private military companies and even UN peacekeeping forces,” these militarized groups are trying to eradicate both poaching and terrorist activities in one fell swoop. However, their methods may be flawed, assert three researchers writing for the Conversation. The link between poaching and international terrorism is a contested one, with some researchers instead pointing to poverty, colonialism and Asian consumer demand as the key causes behind poaching. Indeed, these conservation armies may have “alienate[d] the very communities needed to make conservation work” by allegedly acting violently toward native and marginalized populations in central Africa who rely on the forest for subsidence. – YaleGlobal

The Conversation: Foreign “Conservation Armies” in Africa May Do More Harm Than Good

Western, militarized organizations press forward in tackling both terrorism and poaching despite debate over efficacy of their methods
Rosaleen Duffy, Hannah Dickinson and Laure Joanny
Monday, July 24, 2017
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