Browsing by Author "Vundla, Nelisiwe Lynette"
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- ItemMangalane community's perceptions of poverty as a factors influence involvement in Rhino poaching : a case of Mozambique(UCTD, 2019-04) Vundla, Nelisiwe Lynette; Child, Brian; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. School of Public Leadership.ENGLISH SUMMARY : Illegal wildlife trade (IWT) involves the illicit purchase, movement and exchange of wildlife specimens as commodities within and across national boundaries. The illicit trade of wildlife is one of the largest threats to the survival of species, including rhinoceros and elephant populations in the wild, and has negative implications on the stability of national economies. Literature states that the limited research at different levels of the illicit chains makes the trade difficult to disrupt. On the one hand, scholars argue that poverty is a driver for involvement in illegal wildlife. On the other hand, some scholars suggest that IWT is driven by growth of wealth in the consumer countries in south-east Asia thus raising the demand for illegal products. This paper aims to understand the socio-economic drivers motivating poor communities, such as Mangalane in Mozambique, to become involved in IWT. The purpose is to understand the community’s perception to identify some key challenges that research conservation projects have not explicitly addressed. Ultimately, this paper contributes to understanding some intervention gaps from the perspective of the community to address IWT. The participants were randomly selected but excluded persons under the age of 16 years as they are regarded as minors according to Mozambique law. The study acknowledged the sensitivity of rhinoceros poaching issues which may challenge the reasoning capacity of minors or threaten their social security. A total of 119 surveys were collected of 480 households (25%) from four out of five villages of the Mangalane community located in Mozambique near the southeast border of South Africa’s Kruger National Park (KNP). A participatory focus group session followed to assist in explaining some of the findings to ensure that the community participated in the interpretation of data. The study found that poverty of income has negative implications on wildlife, but mainly wildlife that is necessary for substance consumption, or trade, to supplement household income. The poaching of high value species such as rhino has no immediate use for the community, yet some individuals are involved. Although the community may be collectively defined as poor, poverty levels differ within one community and there are also more affluent individuals within a poor community. These affluent members are more likely to participate in poaching as one must be resourced to participate in poaching. Generally, poor people do not like poachers because they threaten the social security of the community as poachers are also linked to other crimes in the community such as cattle theft and human trafficking. Poor people like wildlife, however, the community’s tolerance of wildlife is very low when the cost of living with it exceeds the benefits received therefrom. The community also expressed a strongly felt need to be granted natural resource use rights. The community is positive towards the protected area and policies, but has a problem with the way policies are implemented, arguing that they are biased toward certain members of the community who are repeat offenders but are allowed to return to the community without prosecution. Furthermore, policies are enforced and not communicated resulting in conflict between law enforcement officials and community members. The community is willing to work with park rangers, but argue that they also need to support safety and security in the community as the community also assists in reporting poaching suspects. In conclusion, poverty is not the absolute motivator for involvement in IWT. Rather, poaching can be a result of a political protest for the use of natural resource and the lack of understanding of conservation laws and retaliation against protected areas due to unfulfilled promises. The absence of proactive human-wildlife conflict management strategies demotivates the community from reporting suspected illegal activity. The investment in anti-poaching raises curiosity within communities about the value of rhino horn in that protected areas make huge investments for protective measures and criminal syndicates are prepared to die to access rhinoceros horn, but the local community is deprived of the wealth. Local communities do not take likely to poaching or poachers, but what is good for wildlife, such as security, must also be good for the community. Wealthy criminal syndicates create fear and social unrest within the community. Fundamentally, under capacitated and under resourced law enforcement officials perpetuate negative relationship between the community and the protected area as they are unable to respond to safety concerns in the community. Apart from benefiting from wildlife, HWC has to be reduced and people must be able to enjoy the protected area so that they understand what they are protecting. Protected areas are at risk of being globally relevant and locally irrelevant as local communities are unable to enjoy the facilities on a daily basis. The researcher urges the consideration of reintegrative shaming approaches which aim to reintegrate offenders as good members of society through positive communication and respect while acknowledging wrong doing.