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Network analysis of a stakeholder community combatting illegal wildlife trade
The illegal wildlife trade has emerged as a growing and urgent environmental issue. Stakeholders involved in the efforts to curb wildlife trafficking include non‐governmental organizations (NGOs), academia, and state government/enforcement bodies. The extent to which these stakeholders work and communicate amongst each other is fundamental to effectively combatting illicit trade. Using the United Kingdom as a case study, we conducted a mixed methods study using a social network analysis and stakeholder interviews to assess communication relationships in the counter wildlife trafficking community. NGOs consistently occupied 4 of the 5 most central positions in the generated networks, while academic institutions were routinely the converse, filling 4 of the 5 most peripheral positions. However, NGOs were also shown to be the least diverse in their communication practices, compared to the other stakeholder groups. Through semi‐structured interviews, personal relationships were identified as the biggest key to functioning communication. Participant insights also showed that stakeholder‐specific variables (e.g. ethical/confidentiality concerns), and competition and fundraising, can have a confounding effect on inter‐communication. Evaluating communication networks and intra‐stakeholder communication trends is essential to facilitate a more cohesive, productive, and efficient response to the challenges of combatting illegal wildlife trade.
Moshier, A., Steadman, J., Roberts, D. L. 2019. Network analysis of a stakeholder community combatting illegal wildlife trade (In press). Conservation Biology. https://doi.org/10.1111/cobi.13336
Published: Apr 2019 | Categories: Research Articles