Much research on conflict and the environment in Africa emphasises the competition for energy resources and valuable minerals as a cause of war. Drawing on current environmental research on conflict in sub-Saharan Africa, this study demonstrates how the lack of adequate wildlife protection generates new sources of instability, notably between poachers and park guards and between local populations and refugees displaced by war. The article offers both an analysis of the important role that wildlife protection can play in the peace-building process after war and an agenda for future research. Effective policies on wildlife can provide a framework for communication between formerly conflicting parties; they can educate the population on the importance of sustainable resource management; and they can promote financial stability. All of these elements are crucial in preventing a renewed cycle of violence.
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