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-Finch

Dr Annette Hübschle is a senior researcher and postdoctoral fellow with the Global Risk Governance Programme at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and is affiliated with UCT’s Centre of Criminology. She is also a senior fellow of the Global Initiative, specializing in African transnational organized crime networks.

Annette graduated with a PhD in economic sociology and political economy from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Societies. She was a senior researcher at the South African-based Institute for Security Studies. She has worked as a researcher, consultant and practitioner on organized crime, environmental security and broader African security issues.

Her current research focuses on the governance of safety and security, with a focus on illegal wildlife economies and environmental futures, as well as the interface between licit and illicit economies and criminal networks.

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