Category Archives: Conservation

Bongos and bushmeat in South Sudan’s crisis

Deep in the bush on South Sudan’s western border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a tropical forest marking the source of the tributaries to the White Nile and the River Congo, effectively the East-West Africa transition zone.  … Continue reading

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Kenya’s ‘killing fields’

‘Denying sanctuary’ or ‘draining the swamp’ is classic counter-insurgency strategy, which in Kenya also involves wildlife conservation as part of the ‘hearts and minds’ strategy. The Kenyan security ‘sweeps’ involve not only an escalating back-drop of brutality against indigenous Kenyans … Continue reading

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The toxic legacy of Tanzania’s ivory

The roots of Tanzania’s ivory poaching crisis are deep and historic By Professor Keith Somerville The recent staggering decline in Tanzania’s elephant numbers, down by 60% in less than ten years (please see previous blog), has horrified conservationists: it demonstrates … Continue reading

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– 60%: a figure that stains Tanzania

Tanzania’s elephants suffer a staggering decline as corruption-driven poaching bites By Professor Keith Somerville, author of Ivory. Power and Poaching in Africa (Hurst, 2016) Tanzania has one of the largest savannah elephant populations in Africa with an estimated 42,871 elephants, … Continue reading

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‘White gold’: Kenya’s black tale of greed

The three ‘C’s – commerce, colonialism and criminalisation of indigenous hunting – created the illegal poaching and smuggling networks in Kenya In the first blog on Kenya’s role in the international ivory trade, I concentrated on the current picture and … Continue reading

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Kenya’s criminal ivory tower

Behind the ivory burning and fine words lies corruption and smuggling. (Part 1 of 2). By Professor Keith Somerville, author of recently published ‘Ivory: power and poaching in Africa’. On 30th April 2016, President Uhuru Kenyatta set fire to over … Continue reading

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Razor-wire borders halt wildlife

The Balkan region, already threatened by the construction of highways and dams, is now being carved into increasingly constricted and less hospitable chunks by a new threat: border fencing. Those effects are now being felt by the region’s migratory wild … Continue reading

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Sorting fact from fiction

Former British Foreign Secretary, The Rt Hon William Hague, will chair the launch of a joint publication by the Marjan Centre with the Royal United Service Institute (RUSI) called ‘Poaching, Wildlife Trafficking and Security in Africa: Myths and Realities’ which … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Conservation, Illegal Wildlife Trade, Militarisation of Nature, Rhinos, War and conservation | Leave a comment

The nature of militarization (3/final)

Does militarisation within conservation work? Clausewitz’s famous dictum of war being an extension of politics by other means applies equally to the ‘militarization’ of counter-poaching. Firstly, the increasing privatisation of counter-poaching inevitably means there is a loosening of controls by … Continue reading

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The nature of ‘militarization’ (1)

There is a unique strategic conundrum at the heart of the protection of wildlife and the interdiction of illegal wildlife trafficking (IWT): to survive wildlife needs the altruistic engagement of humans to combat the actions of other human beings for … Continue reading

Posted in Africa, Colombia, Conservation, Illegal Wildlife Trade, Mexico, Militarisation of Nature, poaching | Leave a comment