To ban or not to ban – scope for legalizing the wildlife trade

This is a link to an article I had published today by ICTSD’s BioRes – it discusses what scope there is for legalizing the trade in wildlife given the failure of trade bans to stop poaching of iconic species like rhino and elephant.

This article discusses why certain trade bans could undermine conservation goals, the opportunities and limitations for legal trade models to conserve species, and how aid for trade can support sustainable use of wildlife.

It finishes by framing the decision to ban or not in terms of risk.

“Legalisation is perceived by its opponents – and some supporters – as a risk. Risk is a function of uncertainty and thus there is a pressing need for more research and dialogue. If the research is well executed and South Africa consults widely, the voting parties at the CITES COP in 2016 will be in a better position to make an informed decision on the following important question; is the risk of rhino extinction higher under a continued trade ban or under a legalised trade?”

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