The Elephant in the Room

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) together with authors from IUCN and ITC published at the London Conference a briefing paper entitled:

The elephant in the room: sustainable use in the illegal wildlife trade debate

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Photo: Linhvienthai, Flickr Creative Commons

The blog post from IIED reads the following:

The paper urges policymakers to combine law enforcement and efforts to reduce demand with incentives that encourage poor communities to use wildlife in a sustainable and well regulated way.

“Effectively tackling wildlife crime means developing approaches that protect wildlife for poor people not from poor people,” it says.

The paper — whose authors include staff at IIED, the International Trade Centre and the IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature) specialist group on Sustainable Use and Livelihoods — notes that wildlife is one of the strongest assets for sustainable development for many rural communities.

A wealth of experience from across the globe demonstrates that sustainable use of that wildlife – through trade, tourism and trophy-hunting – can be one of the most powerful incentives for conservation as well as acting as an engine for local economic development.

The illegal trade undermines that asset base and removes potential sources of income for communities, but heavy handed approaches to law enforcement (one of the key pillars of the strategies under international discussion) can inadvertently penalise poor people and restrict their options for sustainable use even further.

http://www.iied.org/international-push-tackle-illegal-wildlife-trade-risks-missing-potential-sustainable-use

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