PODCAST | Conservation Uncut: The Dark Side of Conservation?

Francis Masse in conversation with Gianluca Cerullo on the intersections between biodiversity conservation and security and the growing trend of militarisation in conservation.

Podcast featuring BIOSEC’s Francis Masse in conversation with Gianluca Cerullo. Original podcast and article on gianlucacerullo.com

In episode 3 of Conservation Uncut, Gianluca Cerullo chats with Francis Masse about how biodiversity conservation intersects with security, the impacts of different anti-poaching approaches for protecting the rhino, the growing trend of military involvement and military techniques in conservation, whether ivory funds terrorism, and the challenges of a community-based ranger programme in Mozambique. They also discuss the Greater Lembobo Conservancy in Mozambique, a protected area which runs along the border of Kruger national park that has been called the most critical piece of land on the planet for rhino conservation , but which has also courted controversy for its resettlement of agricultural communities.

Show notes: 

Twitter: Francis Masse

Twitter: Biosec

Mentioned in the podcast:

  • Community-based conservation of snow leopards in the mountains of Mongolia, and the use of “Conservation Contracts”.
  • Kaziranga national park and shoot-to-kill policies.
  • This article is a really useful overview of what’s happening in Kruger’s contested borderlands in Mozambique, including in Limpopo National Park. Unfortunately I didn’t stumble across this until after recording the podcast, but it explores the role of Twin City, a major development company owned by Oscar Pistorius’ uncle, which is acquiring large tracts of lands along the Kruger park border.
  • Janjaweed, the Lord Resistance Army, and the helicopter shooting of 22 elephants in Uganda.

Useful articles:

Militarised conservation

Ivory and terrorism  

  • An op-ed in the New York Times that argues that the link between the ivory trade and terrorism is a myth, and that conflating the two risks undermining the fight against both.
  • An examination of the claim by the Elephant Action League that Al-Shabaab financed up to 40 percent of their terrorist movement from 2010-2012 through the trafficking of 1-3 tons of ivory per month from the ports of southern Somalia.
  • A recently published piece in the Daily Mail entitled “British army to tackle African elephant poachers who fund their Islamic extremism efforts with illicit ivory sales”.