South Africa’s leading wildlife economy and criminology researcher, Dr Annette Hübschle-Finch from the University of Cape Town, recently visited the College.
As the College expands its Applied Research activities, it is also building collaborative networks with other applied researchers. The College recently hosted Dr Annette Hübschle-Finch, who came to engage Dr Richard Fergusson and Ashwell Glasson, on her research into the Wildlife Economy. Richard is leading the charge on Responsible Resource Use via his training department and one of our key strategies is to help inform evidence-based policy and research, especially with regards the professional hunting and wildlife economy sectors.
Annette, known for her groundbreaking fieldwork in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa in various communities, with a specific focus on interviewing poachers and local kingpins, is expanding her research into broader areas such as Wildlife Poisoning and of course, the development of community-based solutions to many of the challenges facing the legal and illegal wildlife trade; a common point of interest for the College.
Annette did a presentation of some of the challenges and ideas around the legal and illegal wildlife trade to a group of students from Grand Valley University, various College managers and staff. Her insights included the conclusion that there are definitely fewer rhino to poach in the Greater Kruger Transfrontier Conservation area and that there is a critical need for greater inclusion of communities in conservation, development and solution building.
For many of the College team, some of the insights acted as a validation of the projects and hard work that the various departments are putting into building inclusive conservation and responsible resource outcomes. Our learning engagements with other academics and institutions often present us with a valuable opportunity to benchmark and obtain critique on our strategies and thinking. We are looking forward to further collaboration with Annette.