The militarisation of conservation refers to the use of military/paramilitary logics, practices, technologies, and personnel in the name of protecting biodiversity and spaces of conservation. This is often referred to as ‘green militarisation’.

These approaches are part of the history of conservation, but militarisation has intensified in the past decade; this is in part because of the sense of urgency surrounding the escalation in the commercial poaching of wildlife. Our work critically examines the increasingly militarised turn in conservation.

These critiques stem from concerns about the far-reaching consequences of militarisation; these include the promotion and extension of violence and use of force, the negative impacts on human rights and people who live in and around protected areas, and a failure to address the root causes of illicit hunting and biodiversity use, thereby diverting attention away from more mundane, but no less important, conservation priorities.

Our research uses in-depth case studies and global analyses to interrogate questions concerning the social, economic, and ecological impacts and sustainability of militarised approaches to biodiversity protection.

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Related Publications

The militarization of anti-poaching: undermining long term goals

Duffy, R., F.A.V. St John, B. Buscher and D. Brockington, 2015. ‘The militarization of anti-poaching: undermining long term goals’. Environmental Conservation, 42(4): 345–348.

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Waging a Waging a War to Save Biodiversity: The Rise of Militarised Conservation

Duffy, R., 2014. ‘Waging a Waging a War to Save Biodiversity: The Rise of Militarised Conservation’. International Affairs, 90 (4). pp. 819-834.

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War, by Conservation

Duffy, R., 2016, ‘War, by Conservation’ Geoforum. 09.10.2015,  pp. 238-248.

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Inclusive Anti-poaching? Exploring the Potential and Challenges of Community-based Anti-Poaching

Massé, F., Gardiner, A., Lubilo, R., & Themba, M. 2017. ‘Inclusive Anti-poaching? Exploring the Potential and Challenges of Community-based Anti-Poaching.’ South Africa Crime Quarterly, 60, 19-27. 23.06.2017.

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Why we must question the militarisation of conservation

Duffy, R., Massé, F., Smidt, E., Marijnen, E., Büscher, B., Verweijen, J., Ramutsindela, M., Simlaie, T., Joanny, L., Lunstrum, E. (2019) Why we must question the militarisation of conservation. Biological Conservation 05.02.2019.