Breaking the deadlock on ivory
Poaching for ivory has caused a steep decline in African elephant (Loxodonta africana) populations over the past decade. This crisis has fueled a contentious global debate over which ivory policy would best protect elephants: banning all ivory trade or enabling regulated trade to incentivize and fund elephant conservation. The deep-seated deadlock on ivory policy consumes valuable resources and creates an antagonistic environment among elephant conservationists. Successful solutions must begin by recognizing the different values that influence stakeholder cognitive frameworks of how actions lead to outcomes (“mental models”), and therefore their diverging positions on ivory trade.
Duan Biggs, Matthew H. Holden, Alex Braczkowski, Carly N. Cook, E. J. Milner-Gulland, Jacob Phelps, Robert J. Scholes, Robert J. Smith, Fiona M. Underwood, Vanessa M. Adams, James Allan, Henry Brink, Rosie Cooney, Yufang Gao, Jon Hutton, Eve Macdonald-Madden, Martine Maron, Kent H. Redford, William J. Sutherland and Hugh P. Possingham. Breaking the deadlock on ivory. Science 358 (6369), 1378-1381. DOI: 10.1126/science.aan5215
Published: Dec 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Does It Work for Biodiversity? Experiences and Challenges in the Evaluation of Social Marketing Campaigns.
There is a growing realization among conservationists that human behavior is the main driver of all key threats to biodiversity and the environment. This realization has led to an escalation of the efforts to influence human behavior toward the adoption of more sustainable alternatives, more recently through the use of social marketing theory and tools. However, these initiatives have traditionally suffered from a lack of robust impact evaluation, which limits not only accountability but also a practitioner's ability to learn and improve over time.
Diogo Veríssimo, Annalisa Bianchessi, Alejandro Arrivillaga, Fel Ceasar Cadiz, Roquelito Mancao, Kevin Green. Does It Work for Biodiversity? Experiences and Challenges in the Evaluation of Social Marketing Campaigns. Social Marketing Quarterly.
Published: Oct 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Assessing the extent of access and benefit sharing in the wildlife trade: lessons from horticultural orchids in Southeast Asia
The equitable sharing of benefits from natural resources is a key target of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Trade in its native species is one way in which a country can potentially benefit from its natural resources, and even small-scale traders can now access global markets online. However, little is known about the extent of benefit sharing for many products, and the extent to which the appropriate processes and permits are being used.
Amy Hinsley and David L. Roberts. (2017) Assessing the extent of access and benefit sharing in the wildlife trade: lessons from horticultural orchids in Southeast Asia. Environmental Conservation. Cambridge Core
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Attitudes to illegal behaviour and conservation in western Tanzania
Natural resources in and around protected areas in many countries in Africa are under intense pressure as a result of illegal behaviour, such as fishing, hunting and logging. A better understanding of local people's perceptions of the nature of illegal behaviour and the relevance of conservation actions would be useful in informing conservation decisions. We gathered information on the attitudes and perceptions of communities in the vicinity of Ugalla Game Reserve in western Tanzania regarding illegal behaviour and the effectiveness of conservation practices, using household surveys, key informants, and focus groups. We found that local people use the Reserve illegally, especially for hunting (28 ± SE 6%) and logging (20 ± SE 5%). We explored behaviours that are problematic for conservation in the partially protected areas around Ugalla. Local communities reported feeling isolated, harassed and intimidated by approaches used to protect Ugalla. They were angered by the conservation of Ugalla as a trophy hunting site for foreigners, and the excessive force and beatings used by game rangers to keep them away from the Reserve. Improving local livelihoods (17%), participatory conservation (16%), and giving people land for agricultural activities (16%) were among the ways that local communities felt would reduce illegal activities. Our findings suggest the need for conservation measures to benefit local communities around Ugalla transparently and equitably. Outreach programmes would help to raise conservation awareness and attract positive attitudes towards conservation. To encourage local support for conservation, we also suggest that conservation authorities create and maintain good relations with people living near the Reserve.
Wilfred, P., Milner-Gulland, E., & Travers, H. (2017). Attitudes to illegal behaviour and conservation in western Tanzania. Oryx, 1-10. doi:10.1017/S0030605317000862
Published: Sep 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Evaluating the Design of Behaviour Change Interventions: A Case Study of Rhino Horn in Vietnam
Behavioral change interventions are increasingly widely used in conservation. Several projects addressing rhino horn consumption were recently launched in Vietnam. We used key informant interviews, document analysis, and marketing theory to explore their strategies for intervention design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation. We developed a framework to evaluate whether they followed best practice and identify implementation challenges. Using best practice from other fields and considering demand reduction within the wider context of wildlife, trade policy will help address these challenges.
Olmedo, A., Sharif, V. and Milner-Gulland, E.J. (2017), Evaluating the Design of Behavior Change Interventions: A Case Study of Rhino Horn in Vietnam. CONSERVATION LETTERS. doi:10.1111/conl.12365
Published: Aug 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Bycatch and illegal wildlife trade on the dark web
The dark web has caught the attention of the conservation community because of the surge in interest in the illegal wildlife trade.
Roberts, D., & Hernandez-Castro, J. (2017). Bycatch and illegal wildlife trade on the dark web. Oryx, 51(3), 393-394. doi:10.1017/S0030605317000679
Published: Jun 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
FilteredWeb: A framework for the automated search-based discovery of blocked URLs
Various methods have been proposed for creating and maintaining lists of potentially filtered URLs to allow for measurement of ongoing internet censorship around the world. Whilst testing a known resource for evidence of filtering can be relatively simple, given appropriate vantage points, discovering previously unknown filtered web resources remains an open challenge. Authors present a novel framework for automating the process of discovering filtered resources through the use of adaptive queries to well-known search engines. Implementation of this framework, applied to China as a case study, shows the approach is demonstrably effective at detecting significant numbers of previously unknown filtered web pages, making a significant contribution to the ongoing detection of internet filtering as it develops.
Darer, A, Farnan, O and Wright, J et al., (2017). FilteredWeb: A framework for the automated search-based discovery of blocked URLs. 2017 Network Traffic Measurement and Analysis Conference (TMA). https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:6321b48a-9a84-4452-8e2b-9e0ccb59ff67
Published: Apr 2017 | Categories: Research Articles
Automatic detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory via data mining
In this work, we developed an automated systemto detect potentially illegal elephant ivory items for sale on eBay. Two law enforcement experts, with specific knowledge of elephant ivory identification, manually classified items on sale in the Antiques section of eBay UK over an 8 week period.
Hernandez-Castro J, Roberts DL. (2015) Automatic detection of potentially illegal online sales of elephant ivory via data mining. PeerJ Computer Science 1:e10
Published: Jul 2015 | Categories: Research Articles