Lhoest S., Linchant J., Gore M. L., Vermeulen C. [2022] Conservation science and policy should care about violent extremism. Global Environmental Change, 76 102590

Abstract :

Protected areas are increasingly prone to violent extremism spillover, with dramatic consequences for both local people and wildlife populations. Due to the influence of violent extremist groups, science and policy generally fade away. We outline the case of the W-Arly-Pendjari complex of protected areas in West Africa (Burkina Faso, Benin, and Niger), 62% of which is currently under the control of violent extremist groups. The last large population of West African elephants may soon disappear if no action is taken. We discuss the roles of conservation science and policy in protected areas under violent extremism spillover, namely (i) maintaining and reinforcing international support, (ii) authentically engaging local communities in conservation and management strategies, and (iii) planning long-term conservation and security strategies.

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