Understanding Conservation Protection Economies: Policy, Practice, Rationales, and Impacts

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The intensification in commercial poaching, trafficking and the illicit trade in flora and fauna has led to a parallel intensification in efforts to disrupt illicit wildlife economies. Most notably, there is a wealth of policy, practice, and research activity on anti-poaching and law enforcement in protected areas in source countries. Of course, interventions to address IWT are not limited to these spaces and the illicit extraction of biodiversity, but are also focused at and across many scales associated with the IWT supply chain.

Given the sense of urgency attached to the rise in IWT, there is a necessity to understand the challenges and opportunities as well as the impacts of wildlife protection economies on conservation and law enforcement personnel and people living in and around source areas. Recognizing the theoretical paradigms and empirical bases on which IWT-related policing, enforcement, and other responses are based and how this shapes interventions, or not, is equally important. Hence, taking stock of current approaches to address IWT, understanding their challenges, successes, and effects to date, and shedding light on areas where more attention, resources, and research are needed, is a necessary step in shaping informed policy and practice.

The diversity of approaches in social science research is well-positioned to do just this. Indeed, there is an increasing amount of research by geographers, sociologists, criminologists, crime scientists, anthropologists and more on anti-poaching, conservation law enforcement, and the broad range of efforts being implemented to address IWT. Much of this is complemented by colleagues and research in the natural and conservation sciences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 9 Oct 2018
EventEvidence to Action: Research to Address Illegal Wildlife Trade Symposium - ZSL London Zoo , London, United Kingdom
Duration: 9 Oct 20189 Oct 2018


ConferenceEvidence to Action
Abbreviated titleIWT Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Green criminology
  • illegal wildlife trade
  • illegal wildlife trafficking
  • enforcement
  • international
  • Conservation


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