This chapter examines the intersections among violence, security, and the environment. It uses a political ecology lens to analyze the violences that arise from “enforcement-first” approaches in tackling the illegal wildlife trade (IWT) as one aspect of conservation. Growing concern about IWT as a threat to biodiversity and security has led to calls for an urgent response. This has encouraged and facilitated the development of responses that are anchored in law enforcement and militarization. This is in part due to the redefining of IWT as a global security threat because it is deemed as a source of funding for armed groups and involves organized crime networks. The intense focus on the need to tackle IWT has led to shifts in conservation policy, such that anti-poaching operations are often accompanied by considerable levels of violence by conservation authorities.
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