Guns or GPS Units?:
How should African protected areas combat the ivory poaching crisis?
After discovering yet another poached elephant, Josh Perrett, manager of Mugie Conservancy in Kenya, and a group of stakeholders try to decide what policy to implement in order to address the “ivory poaching epidemic.”
Josh Perrett, manager of the Mugie Conservancy, a Kenyan protected area, is awoken to a phone call informing him of a poached elephant in the conservancy. Protected areas like Mugie were created in response to concerns about the imperiled state of the world’s biodiversity and designed to be refuges for the natural world. These areas emerged from a Euro-American ideal of fortress conservation, which sought to protect nature by separating it from people. Such a mentality resulted in the violent and coercive removal of local people and criminalization of local land use practices, creating a legacy of violence, marginalization, and dispossession of local people that continues to this day. Confronted with this complex history and the competing viewpoints of relevant actors involved in the decision (e.g. the Kenyan state, conservation-oriented NGOs, protected area employees, the media and, by extension, the global public, and local communities), Josh must consider his options for addressing poaching within Mugie’s borders.