Global Environment & Society Academy

Wildlife law and the empowerment of the poor

Elisa Morgera’s paper discusses the wide variety of interests to be balanced in wildlife management.

These interests range from the conservation of biodiversity and specific endangered species and their habitats, to valuable opportunities in ecotourism or hunting tourism, to the needs and traditions of the local population relating to hunting and collection of animals or their product for cultural/religious practices.

Although revenues from the wildlife sector may be considered irrelevant as a contribution to the national gross domestic product, wildlife’s influence on local economies can be significant. Some rural communities see wildlife as a source of food. Some see wildlife habitat as potential timber or farmland. And some see wildlife hunting or ecotourism as a source of cash.