By Catherine E. Semcer
From South Africa’s private wildlife conservancies to Tanzania’s hunting blocs, the private sector plays a critical role in conserving Africa’s wildlife. This commitment to conservation includes significant support for anti-poaching programs, as the stories in Patrol illustrate.
Putting hard numbers behind the stories is critical to illustrating the importance of hunting operators, landowners, NGOs, and other private sector leaders in stopping poaching. Putting hard numbers behind the stories is what I seek to do as part of my doctoral research at the University of Oxford.
Working under the supervision of Dr Amy Dickman, as part of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, I am conducting a broad survey of African hunting operators, land owners, photo-tourism operators, non-governmental organizations, and others to quantify their anti-poaching investments.
This survey will identify the extent of money, manpower, equipment, and other resources the private sector contributes to anti-poaching efforts in Africa. Through geospatial analysis of those resources, I will then be able to assess just how important the private sector is to anti-poaching efforts across the continent.
It is my hope that this assessment will give policymakers increased clarity about the potential outcomes of their actions and provide donors with an improved understanding of where their resources can have the most impact.
To learn more about my research or to participate in the survey, please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Catherine Semcer is a DPhil student in biology at the University of Oxford. She is also a research fellow with the African Wildlife Economy Institute at Stellenbosch University and an expert with the Sustainable Use and Livelihoods Working Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. (IUCN).