GLOBES Science Policy Lecture Series
Dr. Libby Lunstrum
Boise State University
Environmental Studies and Global Studies
Abstract: This talk unpacks key features of what is driving the illegal wildlife trade while advancing theory on environmental conflict. We show how the illicit rhino horn economy is a telling instance of environmental conflict (largely between ground-level hunters and militarized conservation forces) that emerges from the radical inequality of the Mozambican-South African borderlands where many hunters originate. Reflecting changes to land, labor, and the valuing of life, rhino hunting has become an attractive albeit risky livelihood alternative. We also examine the complex link between poverty and environmental harm/conflict and the limits of reading rhino hunting as resistance to conservation’s exclusions.