TNRC Blog Female Rangers and Anti-Poaching Strategies to Stem Corruption
Female Rangers and Anti-Poaching Strategies to Stem Corruption
This TNRC event, hosted by TraCCC on September 16, explored case studies of the first three all-female anti-poaching units in Africa who have shown success in addressing corruption, decreasing poaching and enhancing security. The panel featured Jessica Graham, an Environmental Security Consultant and former Senior Policy Advisor of INTERPOL and the U.S. Department of State. She was joined by Greta Francesca Iori, a Wildlife Crime & Conservation Consultant who discussed how women can act as facilitators of wildlife crime and their role in driving corruption in some cases, and Singapore-based Rohit Singh, Director of Wildlife Enforcement and Zero Poaching for the World Wide Fund for Nature, who discussed WWF’s global survey of the working conditions of rangers.
Empowering women and involving them in meaningful roles in anti-poaching units is a promising tool in countering wildlife poaching and associated corruption, but such approaches should be carefully considered within the community and cultural contexts in which units operate.
Among Graham’s findings, which will be detailed in a forthcoming practice note on the TNRC Knowledge Hub, she noted that these anti-poaching units have succeeded in different political and social contexts in three different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The importance of women in the community and the trust these units have built within communities appears to be significant in reducing poaching, increasing wildlife activity, enhancing security, and preventing crime. She cautioned that her conclusions are limited by the small sample size, so it is difficult to draw definitive conclusions about the role of funding, recruitment practices, or female rangers’ own perceptions of corruption in limiting poaching and the corruption that facilitates it. Discussants reinforced the important point that understanding women’s own experiences and expectations, along with their communities and cultural contexts, is an essential aspect of any successful model. Full community engagement and support from village elders downward are particularly important. Empowering women and involving them in meaningful roles in anti-poaching units is a promising tool in countering wildlife poaching and associated corruption, but such approaches should be carefully considered within the community and cultural contexts in which units operate.
Image attribution: © naturepl.com / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus