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Classroom Resources: Confronting Corruption

Confronting Corruption
By Tom Clynes

Winter 2011/ Vol. 11 No. 4

Read the article

Discussion Questions

  1. Despite international and country laws, much rare and endangered wildlife continues to be killed, captured, and sold. What country do you live in? Do you believe your laws are enforced? How does it make you feel to read this article and learn about the lack of enforcement in many African countries?
  2. Are you familiar with wildlife laws in your country? What are two or three wildlife laws in your country? Do you know what CITES is? See “Websites” below.
  3. What is corruption? Think of a scenario in your own life, in which corruption might play a role. For example, what if you were stopped by a police officer for speeding in your car and you offered that officer money in order to not get a ticket. Is this legal to do in your country? Why is government corruption considered wrong?
  4. What are the top three illicit trades in the world? How does illegal wildlife trade rank, and how much revenue is generated every year?
  5. What is Drori’s attitude towards conservation NGO’s? Does he see a link between their size, their large amounts of money, and corruption in Africa? Think of a few, large conservation NGO’s that work in Africa, and look up online what their annual budgets are.
  6. How is the country of Brazil cracking down on corruption, and how have they applied technology to do so? Would you be interested in a career in remote sensing if it meant you could catch poachers?
  7. In an article in the Guardian (see below) Drori is quoted as saying “Conservation in central Africa is a massive failure hiding behind so-called success stories.” Based on this article, what do you think he means?
  8. The article suggests that when an activist like Drori gets too wrapped up in their work and cause, they might alienate potential partners. Do you agree or disagree, and why?

Websites for Further Information

Conservation Corruption in the News

Central Africa: Four nation “sting” operation busts wildlife smuggling ring (The Gaurdian, December 12, 2010):

Peer-reviewed Literature

  • Bowen-Jones, E. and S. Pendry. 1999. The threat to primates and other mammals from the bushmeat trade, and how this threat could be diminished. Oryx 33: 233-246.
  • Smith, R.J. and M.J. Walpole. 2005. Should conservationists pay more attention to corruption? Oryx 39: 251-256

Key Concepts

  • Wildlife
  • Corruption
  • Africa
  • Wildlife laws