uoxWe invite you to take part in a study aiming to identify the most pressing research questions regarding the role of communities in addressing illegal wildlife trade (IWT).

There is growing acknowledgement of the importance of the interaction between IWT and local communities, both with respect to the impact that IWT and responses to it has on communities and to the role that communities can play in combatting IWT. This has been recognised in the concluding statements of recent meetings at both governmental and practitioner level, including the 2015 Kasane Conference held in Botswana and the 2015 “Beyond Enforcement” symposium held in South Africa, which have highlighted the importance of engaging with local communities in efforts to tackle IWT and recommended that the evidence base underlying policy decision-making is strengthened.

Our study aims to assist those working towards supporting the policy process through identifying key gaps in the evidence base. We will identify these gaps with input from conservation and development practitioners, decision-makers and researchers to draw from the experience of a diverse range of experts from different contexts and perspectives. The most pressing research questions identified will be published in a peer-reviewed journal article that will be used as the basis for further public outreach. This will enable researchers in this field to focus their efforts on those questions that will have the greatest impact on tackling IWT and improving the lives of communities affected by it.

As an expert in this field, we hope that you can contribute. Participants in Stage 1 of the research will be invited to submit research questions through an online survey. Stage 2 participants will be asked to review the questions submitted in Stage 1 and score them for importance using an online platform. We anticipate that participation in the study will take in the region of 15-20 minutes of your time for each stage of the study.

The timetable for the study will be as follows:

  • 12th May 2016: deadline for registering interest in participating in the study
  • 31th May 2016: deadline for submitting responses to Stage 1
  • 30th June 2016: submitted questions collated and reviewed against criteria
  • 31st July 2016: respondents of Stage 1 invited to score questions for Stage 2
  • 30th September 2016: deadline for submitting question scores for Stage 2

If you would like to contribute to the study, please contact the study coordinator Dr. Henry Travers (henry.travers@zoo.ox.ac.uk), Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Oxford, by 12th May 2016.

With best regards,
Henry Travers, David Wilkie, Aidan Keane, James Allan, Daniel Challender, Rosie Cooney, Dilys Roe, Holly Dublin, Diane Skinner, Jacob Phelps and Duan Biggs

DEPARTMENT OF ZOOLOGY
Tinbergen Building, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3PS
www.zoo.ox.ac.uk
Enquiries +44 (0) 1865 271234

Photo: S. salamandra alfredschmidti © Javier Ábalos Alvarez

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