UNODC Module Series on Wildlife Crime: Sustainable livelihoods and community engagement

Developed under UNODC's Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration, this module on sustainable livelihoods and community engagement forms part of the E4J University Module Series on Wildlife Crime. 

This module provides an overview of how supporting sustainable livelihoods and promoting community engagement may assist in preventing and combating wildlife crime.

The focus on communities and sustainable livelihoods is in line with one of the four pillars of the intergovernmental conferences held in Kasane, Hanoi and London to reduce illegal trade in wildlife. The other pillars are law enforcement (compare with Module 3 of the Wildlife Crime series), legal frameworks (compare with Module 2 of the Wildlife Crime series), and demand reduction (compare with Module 1 of the Wildlife Crime series). While the latter are traditional and often state-centred responses, the community-focused approach is seen as part of a whole-of-society response that incorporates strategic cooperation and engagement of civil society.

Proponents of this community-focused approach regard local communities living near protected areas, forests and fisheries as fulcrum institutions and individuals that hold the key to conserving natural resources for future generations. The module discusses how sustainable livelihoods and community engagement in conservation may not only assist in addressing crime but can also lead to crime prevention.

This module can be taught on its own but offers a more comprehensive view of wildlife crime when used in combination with modules 1-3 of the Wildlife Crime series. It provides suggestions for in-class exercises, student assessments, slides, and other teaching tools that lecturers can adapt to their contexts, and integrate into existing university courses and programmes.