Breaking the deadlock on ivory

Biggs, Duan and Holden, Matthew H. and Braczkowski, Alex and Cook, Carly N. and Milner-Gulland, E. J. and Phelps, Jacob and Scholes, Robert J. and Smith, Robert J. and Underwood, Fiona M. and Adams, Vanessa M. and Allan, James and Brink, Henry and Cooney, Rosie and Gao, Yufang and Hutton, Jon and Macdonald-Madden, Eve and Maron, Martine and Redford, Kent H. and Sutherland, William J. and Possingham, Hugh P. (2017) Breaking the deadlock on ivory. Science, 358 (6369). pp. 1378-1381. ISSN 0036-8075. E-ISSN 1095-9203. (doi: (Full text available)

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Poaching for ivory has caused a steep decline in African elephant (Loxodonta africana, see the photo) populations over the past decade (1). 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 (2). 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”) (3), and therefore their diverging positions on ivory trade (4). Based on successful conflict resolution in other areas, we propose an iterative process through which countries with wild elephant populations may be able to understand their differences and develop workable solutions in a less confrontational manner.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation > DICE (Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology)
Depositing User: Bob Smith
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2018 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2018 11:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Smith, Robert J.:
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