We would like to take this opportunity to introduce People Not Poaching, an online learning platform dedicated to showcasing community based strategies that deal with poaching and illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
People Not Poaching is a joint initiative of the IUCN Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Group (SULi) and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), supported by TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network.
The aim of the platform is to collect practical examples of community based approaches that tackle poaching and IWT, and to bring together resources that can be used to aid in the development of such initiatives. The platform also looks to provide updates on the latest policy developments and events within the realm of IWT.
Included in the many case studies are strategies used by communities engaged in the sustainable use of wildlife resources.
One example of this is the Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi Game Reserves in Tanzania. Through the Southern Tanzania Elephant Program (STEP), they are engaged in a number of anti-poaching and elephant co-existence strategies.
Analysis of data from aerial surveillance is used to inform management strategies in the game reserves. Community projects, such as improving access to loans and credit, community-led elephant monitoring and awareness days, are used to improve human-elephant coexistence, thereby reducing the likelihood of illegal killings.
It is likely that there are many game reserves in Tanzania, and beyond, that share similar circumstances to the Rungwa-Kizigo-Muhesi Game Reserves. The platform, and the many case studies and best practices that it hosts, can be used to inform and develop frameworks that can be implemented elsewhere.
SULi is a specialist group of IUCN, a membership union in which the CIC is a member. Several individuals within the CIC network are also part of SULi, including Shane Mahoney, Deputy President of the CIC Policy & Law Division and also Vice Chair of SULi.
The CIC would like to congratulate the ongoing work of People Not Poaching, and invite all those involved in community-based IWT efforts to contribute to the platform.