Why are rhino protection in specific and conservation efforts in more general terms failing so dismally in most of southern Africa? A new report by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime describes how a multiplicity of anti-poaching, conservation and management measures have been implemented to protect rhinos.

Despite encompassing everything from para-militarized anti-poaching responses, regulatory changes and tougher enforcement measures to demand reduction campaigns in consumer countries, none of these responses has achieved tangible results in lowering unnatural rhino deaths through illegal hunting in southern Africa.

The international donor community, conservation non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments have disbursed millions of Dollars to fight illegal wildlife trade and continue to do so. We argue in this report that these measures are bound to fail as they do not engage with the most important change agent in conservation: local people that live in or near protected areas and game reserves.



• Professor Maano Ramutsindela (Department of Environmental & Geographical Science, UCT) in conversation with:
• Dr Annette Hübschle (Global Risk Governance Programme, UCT, Senior Fellow at the Global Initiative and report author)
• Nelisiwe Vundla (Community Development and Learning Lead in Khetha Program, WWF-SA)
• Emile Smidt (PhD candidate at International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague)


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Annette Hübschle

Dr. Annette Hübschle is a senior research fellow with the Global Risk Governance Programme at the University of Cape Town (UCT). She is also affiliated with the Centre of Criminology at UCT and the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University Glasgow.

Annette holds a PhD in Social Sciences and Economics from the International Max Planck Research School on the Social and Political Constitution of the Economy and the University of Cologne, and a Master of Philosophy in Criminology from the University of Cape Town. Her research focuses on the governance of safety and security with a specific focus on illegal economies and the new harmscapes of the 21st century.

Before joining UCT, Annette was a doctoral researcher in the Illegal Markets research group at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies in Germany. In the past, Annette worked as a senior researcher for the former Cape Town office of the Institute for Security Studies, a pan-African applied policy institute. She led and conducted research into organized crime and terrorism in Africa.

Annette has worked as a researcher, consultant, and practitioner on a variety of organized crime, environmental security and broader African security issues.

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