TNRC External Resource | Understanding power and politics for better conservation outcomes

Understanding power and politics for better conservation outcomes

Illegaly poached elephant tusks and ivory

This blog, developed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and WWF International Governance Practice, explains the utility of adopting Political Economy Analysis (PEA) in conservation to improve the effectiveness of conservation efforts and minimize unintended consequences of their work. It highlights that illegal and unsustainable natural resource exploitation enabled by crime and corruption, and related social and environmental impacts, occur because powerful groups and individuals benefit from such activities. A PEA can help conservationists understand power dynamics and tackle harmful vested interests (those ways in which groups and people benefit from damage to the natural environment) and corruption (the abuse of power for private gain). The blog concludes by highlighting available resources, such as WWF's PEA Analysis for Conservation Practice framework and a six-step guide, developed together with the Basel Institute on Governance under the Targeting Natural Resource Corruption (TNRC) project, to assist conservationists in understanding and applying PEA. Overall, it underscores the significance of PEA in guiding informed decision-making for conservation in complex, political environments.

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Image attribution: © / Jen Guyton / WWF; © Brian J. Skerry / National Geographic Stock / WWF; © Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK; © Hkun Lat / WWF-Aus