How to curb China's illegal wildlife trade, from tiger bones to totoaba bladders
Michael ’t Sas-Rolfes, a doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford who toured tiger farms at the invitation of the Chinese government in 2007, was not surprised. “The only part of this that was completely unexpected for me was the timing,” he says. “The Chinese focus has always been more on conserving a species as a resource, not on the western focus of conserving a species in its habitat.” Even as western countries have pushed for blanket bans on certain wildlife products, he continues, demand for those products in certain quarters of Asia has not fallen. Instead, illegal trade and the profits to be made from it have increased. “I’m hoping that China’s move may serve as a bit of a wakeup call that the ‘just say no’ approach doesn’t work,” Sas-Rolfes says. “The conversation on drugs has evolved into something more sophisticated – smoking pot is not the same as shooting up with heroin. And we need to apply the same nuanced, evidence-based thinking to wildlife trade,” he adds.
via The Independent
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


‘Evidence failure’ blights fight against illegal wildlife trade
With consumption driving the illegal trade, efforts to reduce demand clearly have a big role to play in saving the rhinos. But when researchers assessed nine of these interventions last year they found that only one — by TRAFFIC — had been adequately designed. This is just one example of an ‘evidence failure’ that researchers say is thwarting efforts to stop the illegal trade in wild animals and plants, leading to inadequate, unethical and counterproductive policies and other interventions.
via Under the Banyan
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Cocaine of the sea, ‘epic failure’ and how following the money can limit illegal wildlife trade
It has been called "cocaine of the sea" — the dried swim bladder of the totoaba fish, which when smuggled from Mexico to China sells for US$40,000 to $60,000 per kilogram thanks to its supposed medicinal qualities. While the fish is critically endangered as a result, the situation of another animal that gets caught in totoaba nets is even more dire. The illicit trade has driven the world’s smallest marine mammal — a kind of porpoise called a vaquita — to almost certain extinction.
via Earth Journalism Network
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Illegal wildlife trade’s ‘dirty money’ targeted by big banks
A broad alliance of 30 global banks and financial institutions have pledged to stop wildlife trafficking by pressuring the pocketbooks of criminal syndicates. Tracking the flow of “dirty money” and tackling corruption emerged as the missing elements in reducing the soaring illegal wildlife trade at a major conference last week in London. A briefing note published this year by the Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade points to how combating efforts could be improved. Specifically, it notes that fish, timber and plants are all trafficked in much greater volumes than higher-profile species such as elephants or rhinos. It warns of an “over-emphasis on militarised and enforcement-first approaches [that] risks eroding trust between local people and conservation staff.” One of the program’s researchers, Diogo Verissimo, said it was simpler for governments to demonstrate action by putting money into law enforcement.
via Mongabay
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Consumer focus – Tackling illegal wildlife trade by reducing demand
Since 2002, Fauna & Flora International (FFI) has been working to stem poaching, illegal trade and consumption of marine turtles on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua. I’m looking forward to presenting my findings at ‘Evidence to Action: Research to Address the Illegal Wildlife Trade’ and, in particular, sharing what we’ve learned – and learning from others – when we attend next month’s Illegal Wildlife Trade conference in London.
via Fauna & Flore International
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


London Conference to Tackle Illegal Wildlife Trade
A National Geographic investigative reporter will be a key speaker at a high level conference in London this evening, convened to address the illegal wildlife trade. The event will serve as a prelude to a major Heads of Government conference hosted by the UK Government on 11-12 October, which aims to build coalitions between sectors, such as researchers, NGOs, civil society (including the media) and governments in order to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.
via National Geographic
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Researchers Explore Ways to Bring Attention to and Inform Policy on the Illegal Wildlife Trade
More than 250 scientists, researchers, environmental experts, practitioners and reporters gathered in London this week ahead of a UK-sponsored conference on the illegal wildlife trade to talk about the threat trafficking poses to biodiversity. Their aim was to discuss ways that science and evidence-based studies can and should inform policies aimed at curbing the illegal trafficking of species, a trade worth an estimated $23 billion annually, according to Dominic Jermey, head of the Zoological Society of London, which hosted the conference.
via Earth Journalism Network
Published: Nov 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Did Harry Potter create a demand for pet owls in the UK?
Much as been said in the popular media regarding a potential link between the Harry Potter movie and book series and an increase in demand for pet owls in the UK. But what does the evidence says? This explores research that has failed to find any connection between the boy wizard and owl keeping and questions how sentiments such as this can be so widely reported in the media, in the absence of any supporting evidence.
via www.forbes.com
Published: Jan 2018 | Categories: Media Coverage


Breaking the ivory deadlock to protect elephants
The issue of whether ivory trading should be legalised to fund elephant conservation, or banned altogether, is long standing and widely debated. Both sides of the argument are so contentious that emotional investment can distort our understanding of the core issues.
via www.ox.ac.uk/news
Published: Dec 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


To trade or not to trade? Breaking the ivory deadlock
The debate over whether legal trading of ivory should be allowed to fund elephant conservation, or banned altogether to stop poaching has raged for decades without an end in sight.
via www.uq.edu.au/news
Published: Dec 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


Hunt Elephants to Save Them? Some Countries See No Other Choice
Rachel Nuwer comments on the endless debates of elephant trophy hunting and yet “trophy hunting is not the issue. We should be focused on wildlife trafficking and the broader plight of elephants.”
via www.nytimes.com
Published: Dec 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


Production timings could stem illegal wildlife laundering
Research by Dr Dave Roberts in the School of Anthropology and Conservation has shown that understanding the growth rates of species could help flag up when an item being sold could only have come from the wild, thus identifying it as illegal.
via https://www.kent.ac.uk/news
Published: Nov 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


Are Traders and Traffickers Winning the Orchid Battle?
Orchids are heavily exploited and traded, wanted for everything from decoration to food and medicine, but illegal collectors could be wiping out species before we even know they exist.
via https://news.nationalgeographic.com
Published: Nov 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, 26th September 2017: John Simpson interviews E.J. Milner-Gulland on the Ivory Trade
On 26th September 2017, John Simpson, CBE, BBC World Affairs Editor, interviewed Professor E.J. Milner-Gulland on the ivory trade for BBC Radio 4's Today Programme. "There is still an increasing trade coming out of Africa for ivory" reports Milner-Gulland. This interview sparked interest in the evening public debate held at St. Catherine's College, Oxford, UK, which took place later the same day: http://www.illegalwildlifetrade.net/2017symposium/debate/ The debate focused on the state of the wildlife trade leading up to the London IWT Conference in 2018 and addressed the many dimensions of the illegal wildlife trade and its consequences, including those arising from accountability, donor interests, evidence-based policy and livelihood concerns of local communities.
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Media Coverage


Professors at Oxford Martin Programme hope to tackle illegal wildlife poaching
A RESEARCH hub that merges science and cybersecurity hopes to hone in on illegal wildlife trading.
via oxfordmail.co.uk
Published: Oct 2016 | Categories: Media Coverage


Illegal Wildlife Traders Aren't Welcome on the Dark Web
Dark web users are cool with drugs, not so cool with tiger cubs.
via motherboard.vice.com
Published: Sep 2016 | Categories: Media Coverage


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