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A cross-national comparison of the efficacy of community-based and national governance approaches on the protection of the African elephant
- Carpenter, Stefan
- Journal of environmental management 2019 v.231 pp. 336-344
- Elephantidae, databases, governance, socioeconomics, wildlife
- This study uses a longitudinal cross-national carcass database to analyze the relative effectiveness of community-based and national governance approaches at conserving elephant populations. Controlling for variables previously identified as impacting poaching levels, an increase in land area under either community or national governance is found to be correlated with an increased likelihood of illegal elephant deaths, with community-based governance being associated with an increase roughly twice that of national governance. This finding suggests that community-based governance may be less effective than national governance at protecting commercially valuable wildlife such as elephants, but neither approach has been able to demonstrate sustained success. Consequently, rather than declaring either conservation approach as clearly preferable, policymakers should instead focus on ensuring that selected conservation approaches are tailored to site-specific natural, institutional, and socio-economic characteristics.