Rhino Poaching What Is The Solution?

Discussion in 'Articles' started by AFRICAN INDABA, Apr 19, 2016.

  1. AFRICAN INDABA

    AFRICAN INDABA CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Rhino poaching is a serious contemporary global concern. Significant recent growth in demand for rhino horn in Asian consumer markets has driven black market prices to extraordinary levels, undermining attempts to conserve wild rhinos and enforce a worldwide trade ban. A closer analysis of countries that have succeeded in conserving rhinos reveals that they owe much of their success to policies that enhance the direct economic benefits flowing from rhino protection and link these to relevant local people and institutions. If trade ban enforcement alone cannot save rhinos, then other solutions must be considered. As one alternative, international conservation NGOs typically support campaigns aimed at changing consumer behavior, arguing that poaching will end when consumers stop buying rhino horn products. Skeptics of this approach argue that it would be better to displace existing demand for illegally sourced horn either with genuine horn from sustainable sources or with a synthetic substitute. All three approaches deserve careful consideration, both individually and in possible combination.

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    Key Concepts
    • Rhino poaching can be viewed as an economic problem: as rising consumer demand drives up prices for rhino horn, incentives for illegal activity increase relative to the incentives to protect live rhinos.
    • Where wild rhino populations have survived, this has been due to adequate enforcement spending and rhino-related economic benefit flows to relevant local people, not necessarily because of restrictions on rhino horn trade.
    • Campaigns aimed at changing consumer behavior may ultimately reduce black market rhino horn prices, but fail to address the economic aspirations of the local people who control the animals’ destiny.
    • Legalizing trade in rhino horn has the potential to raise much-needed funds for rhino protection and create more lasting incentives for conservation, but faces opposition from advocates of demand reduction and requires significant institutional reforms that do not enjoy widespread political support.
    • Introducing a synthetic substitute product to the market provides a third option, sharing both certain advantages and disadvantages of each of the two other approaches.
    Author: Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes

    Michael ‘t Sas-Rolfes is an independent conservation economist based in Cape Town, South Africa. He has been actively involved in wildlife conservation for most of his life. His academic background includes a Bachelors in Business Economics and two MSc degrees, in Environmental Resource Economics (UCL) and in Biodiversity Conservation and Management (Oxford). He has specialist knowledge of the application of economic analysis and business principles to the biodiversity conservation sector, and has conducted detailed work and analysis on wildlife trade issues (especially relating to rhinos, big cats, elephants, and bears) and on innovative approaches to financing and managing both public and private protected areas.

    Read the full article of Michael t’ Sas-Rolfes in Solutions (Volume 7, Issue 1, Page 38-45, March 2016) – a non-profit print and online publication devoted to showcasing bold and innovative ideas for solving the world’s integrated ecological, social, and economic problems. This is the solutions Website with the article: http://www.thesolutionsjournal.com/node/237452
     
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  2. Gemsbok Gangsta

    Gemsbok Gangsta AH Enthusiast

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    Its simple make the trade in Rhino horn legal. Pushes prices down and lessens the illegal trade. Food for thought,regulate the heck out of it...
     

  3. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    its the same as drugs,legalize it and break the back of crime.same with ivory and rhino horn.dont like it,tough,that is a win win solution.
     
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  4. Eddie P

    Eddie P AH Veteran

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    If horn is keratin, isn't it possible to flood the market with powdered hair? I know it is possible to test genes, but surely it would screw the market with uncertainty?
     

  5. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Fanatic

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    I'd work on transgenic goats that grow rhino horn. They've been making human insulin in bacteria for decades, rhino horn in goats should be achievable. Tons of horn that can't be distinguished from the genuine article would knock the bottom out of prices and thereby make poaching unattractive.

    Legalizing the trade is an option that increases the value of rhino. I don't know if the price of horn is high enough to actually pay for the cost of a rhino although horn is renewable which helps. I just don't have the data or economic sophistication to do that analysis.

    I'd imagine a covert op that slipped cadmium or some equally hideous poison into captured horn then reintroduced it into the illegal supply chain would put a damper on things.

    Of course, increasing economic opportunity such that poachers have better alternatives would also help.
     
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  6. Code4

    Code4 AH Fanatic

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    Defnantly legalise the sale of Rhino horn. There is more value in something you can sell than look at.
    Is there any legitimate data on where rhino horn goes ?
    Current belief seems to point to China (the latest boggie man), however it used to be to Yemen for dagger handles.
     

  7. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Legalize trade!!!
     
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  8. Nicholas Barcomb

    Nicholas Barcomb AH Veteran

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    Legalize the trade. Create the synthetic alternative. Hunt the poachers, setting up ambushes with fake rhinos. This will definitely make poachers really start to question their profession, when THEY start disappearing!
     
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  9. Michael Dean

    Michael Dean AH Enthusiast

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    This is an international problem with political consequences. The Chinese government has to take this seriously and be willing to heavily prosecute offenders; they control 90% of the market they need to make punishments severe enough that it undermines the market.
     

  10. 375 Ruger Fan

    375 Ruger Fan AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Wasn't it Shakespeare who said, "First thing we do is kill all the rhino poachers."
     
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