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Elephants Hero

Why we need a new approach to counter poaching

Working in the Central African Republic training and leading anti-poaching teams, former French army lieutenant Stephane Crayne hopes a new approach to conservation will help turn the tide against poaching. A military background paired with an academic outlook from his work with King’s, Stephane, who is now in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), calls for a new multi-disciplinary approach to counter poaching.

Travelling out to the headquarters of WWF and Dzanga-Sangha Special Reserve in the Central African Republic, Stephane encountered a post-conflict region. There was limited counter-poaching resource and a heightened threat to wildlife, especially to elephants, whose ivory was a crucial factor in the cross-border trading between CAR, Congo and Cameroon at that time.

‘It was a difficult working environment- we essentially started from scratch,’ Stephane said. As a Technical Advisor for Conservation for WWF, he combined the administrative management of conservation with larger field components, working with local rangers on patrol to both investigate cases of poaching, and train the local teams.


We’re not reinventing the wheel, but we really have to think of different ways to address these problems, as opposed to how we’ve been working in past 40 years in counter poaching– Stephane Crayne, Research Associate, King’s Marjan Centre and Consultant in wildlife protection strategies.

After completing an MA with King’s War Studies Department specialising in Conflict and Conservation, Stephane continues to work with the Marjan Centre for the Study of War and the Non-Human Sphere. Based at King’s, the Centre focuses on war and conflict, developing an inter-disciplinary approach to counter the impact of conflict on the ‘non-human’ sphere. As a Research Associate for the Centre, Stephane provides a primary research source for academics working in the area and has recently been awarded the Marjan-Marsh Award. The award is given to an individual who has made an invaluable contribution to an area where conflict and conservation overlap.

‘We really have to try to think of different ways to address these problems as opposed to the ways we’ve been working in the last 40 years,’ Stephane said. ‘My experience at King’s allowed me to take an academic view, in correlation to the science of conservation and conflict studies.’

To find out more about the Marjan Centre for War and Non-Human Sphere and Stephane’s work visit the King’s website. Read more on Stephane’s published work on poaching, wildlife trafficking and conflict here:

Video credit:  

Music: Ode to the World by Kai Engel is licensed under creative commons, under an attribution non-commercial license

Footage: copyright EcoPrint, Global_Focus, and Pyty, all purchased via Shutterstock

Image: With thanks to Sandie and Stephane Crayne