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Poaching as a Security Threat for Botswana and the Region

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Despite efforts to combat poaching in the Southern African Development Community SADC, the practice continues to be a persistent problem. In particular, Botswanas wildlife is at risk because of ongoing transborder crime, including poaching for rhino horns and elephant tusks, both of which are highly detrimental to eco-tourism. In addition, transborder poaching poses a security threat, both inherently and because it is a potential source of funding for terrorism. The situation is made worse by the ungoverned spaces of vast porous borders between Botswana and its surrounding states. This thesis examines how these circumstances in Botswana and the surrounding states exacerbate transborder poaching and delves into the causal factorsungoverned borders, weak enforcement capacity, and economic incentivesthat motivate poaching. Domestic and multilateral intervention mechanisms, such as restructuring Botswanas anti-poaching efforts, implementing joint border-surveillance initiatives, and harmonizing regional anti-poaching laws, would offer control of the ungoverned borders. The solution, however, ultimately lies with the states themselves, which must fully address transborder poaching by embracing good governance, strengthening institutions, and improving the socioeconomic conditions of their people.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

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