International Development, Community and Environment (IDCE)

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Science and Policy (ES&P)


International Development, Community and Environment

Chief Instructor

Gregory Trencher


The international demand for ivory has devastated African elephant populations. In 2015, more elephants were poached for ivory than were born. Many countries have sought to decrease poaching pressures through ivory trade bans. However, Zimbabwe, home to the second largest African elephant population, funds its anti-poaching efforts with revenue from ivory exports. The ivory bans implemented by other countries prevent Zimbabwe from generating many sources of ivory revenue. These bans hamper Zimbabwe’s ability to fund anti-poaching efforts and exacerbate the complex interactions between the social, economic, and political factors which contribute to poaching. Increasing the understanding of the relationships between poaching factors and poaching policy responses is therefore vital. The DPSIR (Drivers, Pressures, State, Impacts, and Responses) framework is utilized to understand how the interactions between poaching factors and policy responses create feedback loops that may increase poaching. This analysis identifies the key areas for policy intervention: economic stagnation, human wildlife conflicts, and political corruption. Coping strategies are recommended for each area to potentially decrease elephant poaching pressures in Zimbabwe.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.