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The conservation-corruption conundrum: Understanding everyday relationships between rangers and communities

Rangers are at the frontline of biodiversity conservation and are perhaps the only actors that bridge the human-nature divide through their work in protecting charismatic species and engaging with local communities. A better understanding of rangers roles and positionalities in the context of places with ethnic conflict, corruption and natural resources management can aid better policy and practice outcomes.

3 December 2020
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Main points

  • Forest use, conservation policies, and their implementation are shaped through everyday interactions between rangers and communities, within and at the fringes of forests and national parks.
  • Given that rangers have been found to both engage in corruption and to report it as witnesses, it is important to understand rangers’ working conditions and the broader context in which engagement in corruption occurs.
  • Conservation and natural resource management policy and practice will be more effective if the crucial roles that rangers play in the interlinkages between local conflict, corruption and natural resource management are more strongly recognised.

Cite this publication

Dutta, A.; (2020) The conservation-corruption conundrum: Understanding everyday relationships between rangers and communities. Bergen: U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Chr. Michelsen Institute (U4 Brief 2020:15)

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About the author

Anwesha Dutta

Anwesha Dutta is a post-doctoral researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute. She is a political ecologist who uses ethnographic methods focusing on environment issues – particularly ecology approaches to forestry, wildlife conservation, and resource extraction. Dutta holds a PhD in Conflict and Development Studies from Ghent University, Belgium.


All views in this text are the author(s)’, and may differ from the U4 partner agencies’ policies.

This work is licenced under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International licence (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Photo: Anwesha Dutta CC BY-NC-ND