n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Criminological semantics : conservation criminology - vision or vagary?

Volume 19, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1012-8093



Traditionally, criminological research worldwide has focused on the more conventional or salacious or higher profile-type crimes in society, especially those involving a readily identifiable victim. Crime categorisation and classification have developed commensurate this tendency, a fact that is corroborated by, and reflected in generic criminological parlance; thereby, it is argued, undermining focused and dedicated intervention and mitigation in the conservation / natural resource sphere. This paper, by unravelling and coalescing current dichotomies and the chiefly spurious doggerel which is historically associated with the study of natural resource crime and deviance, therefore alludes to the development and delineation of a viable, parsimonious and mutually exclusive crime category that will effectively encapsulate conservation crime and criminality. Existing (i.e. conventional) crime categories are assessed and those terminologies purporting to represent and embrace the natural resource crime remit that is evaluated. Contemporary natural resource crime semantics or aphorisms are, furthermore, evaluated and ambiguities that have been undermining the formation, until now, of an unbiased conservation crime category with its own unique identity as a vanguard to an appropriately captioned and innovative conservation criminology, revealed. Within the delineated parameters and ambit of the conservation crime / criminology field a non-esoteric and integrated schematic which is aimed at augmenting written submissions, is, furthermore, drafted. Conservation crime / criminology as developed and presented in this paper, underscores the significant contribution this field of criminology can make in comprehending the illegal manipulation and exploitation of natural resources, thereby expanding and enhancing its theoretical constructs and implementing justice through holistic intervention strategies.

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