A double-edged sword: The role of technology in combating wildlife crime


Technology offers a critical avenue for nimble, innovative and proactive responses to wildlife crime. Harnessing these opportunities is essential, as wildlife crime is driving the rapid, unsustainable and increasingly irreversible depletion of animal and plant populations. Wildlife crime also poses risks to human security and undermines development and governance. Technology can either boost efforts to combat wildlife crime, or exacerbate and directly enable it. New approaches are needed to develop, procure and implement technology in the wildlife crime response. This policy brief offers a framework for a sustainable and strategic approach that prioritises the human element and maximises impact.

About the authors

Jacqueline Cochrane is a combating wildlife crime (CWC) researcher and communication consultant who has worked for the ISS, Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism and the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Ashwell Glasson is a college registrar at the Southern African Wildlife College and a CWC capacity-building specialist who provides counter-poaching support to the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs.

Photo: © J.Brogdon/Unsplash

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ENACT is funded by the European Union
ENACT is implemented by the Institute for Security Studies in partnership with
INTERPOL and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime.
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