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Wildlife trade and trafficking Mike Shanahan / IIED.

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Presentation on theme: "Wildlife trade and trafficking Mike Shanahan / IIED."— Presentation transcript:

1 Wildlife trade and trafficking Mike Shanahan / IIED

2 November 2013

3 China and France follow suit, Hong Kong approves plan to destroy massive stockpile over next two years (NPR, 2/17/14)

4 White House moved to strengthen enforcement of laws and extend bans on trade in Feb extend ban on the commercial trade of elephant ivory –“All commercial imports/exports of ivory products will be prohibited” (with a few exceptions). –“Sales of any ivory products within the U.S. will also be severely restricted.” (Walsh, Time, 2/11/14) –“strengthening domestic and global enforcement of wildlife trade laws –working with international partners to combat the global poaching trade”

5 “Illegal wildlife trafficking—the unlawful slaughter of endangered animals to trade their valuable parts—has risen alarmingly in recent years. > 30,000 elephants killed in Africa in 2014 for their ivory 1,000 rhinos killed in South Africa alone increasing evidence linking illegal wildlife trading with corruption, terrorist groups and organized criminal networks.” ivory stock seized recently at the autonomous port in Lome, Togo (west African), Emile Kouton, AFP/Getty Images / February 4, 2014) (Paramaguru, Time 2/14/14)

6 Feb. 2014: Leading nations met in London for highest-level talks ever on illegal trade in wildlife products. Outcome  London Declaration: “countries agreed for the first time to renounce the use of products from species threatened with extinction. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images. Protesters outside Conference –eradicate market for illegal wildlife products –ensure effective legal frameworks and strengthen law enforcement –trafficking in illegal wildlife products in the same category as trafficking in drugs, arms and people.” (Paramaguru, Time 2/14/14)

7 A mixed history of bans and intermittent legal sales 1989 ban on int’l trade in ivory: Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) –Effective in the west –Less effective in Asia (cultural and medicinal use) 1999: Botswana, Namibia, and Zimbabwe permitted to sell to Japan about 110,000 pounds from existing legal stocks of raw ivory –Stocks from animal deaths from natural causes or control programs –Raised $5M for elephant conservation. –Sales followed from Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.

8 Do the sales of legal stockpiles help or hurt conservation? Empirical evidence is mixed: Did the 1999 sales encourage on poaching? (Fischer, 2003/2014) –Yes: Environmental Investigation Agency (nongovernmental UK org) –No: UN Environment Programme and the TRAFFIC network (monitors wildlife trading) Issue  interactions between segregated/separated markets: legal and illegal trade.

9 Do the sales of legal stockpiles help or hurt conservation? Sales of legal stockpiles: –Rationale: adding supply  decrease prices in the market for ivory  decrease return to poaching (figure) Hope: satisfy some illegal demand without triggering resurgence in legal demand. two crucial assumptions: –illegally produced goods and legally sold confiscated goods are truly interchangeable –consumers are indifferent to both wildlife populations and the nature of the market

10 Do the sales of legal stockpiles help or hurt conservation? Sales of legal stockpiles: –Unintended consequences: increase legal ivory supply  decrease stigma of ivory ownership  increase demand for new ivory  increase prices and the return to poaching. –More likely if »demand is malleable; i.e. demand for ivory isn’t the same as any other good »consumers care about the source of their ivory, the state of the elephant population, or just how others perceive it.

11 Do the sales of legal stockpiles help or hurt conservation? Sales of legal stockpiles: –unintended consequences: decrease stigma for existing consumers (previous slide) laundering may bring illegal goods to legal markets; legal sales may lower the costs of illegal supply by making monitoring more difficult

12 Similar dynamics are at play for other goods “blood” diamonds from war-torn areas like the Democratic Republic of Congo –stigma in demand; laundering in supply. Other products with segregated markets –GMO-free (genetically modified organisms), cruelty-free, or organic produce; –certified, sustainably harvested timber; –drugs; and guns.


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