04 March 2014

Blood Diamond Ivory

DGB writes:*

The black market trade of ivory is a growing ecological concern as it resulted in the death of 45,000 elephants and rhinos in Africa last year (2013) alone. In fact, illegal wildlife trafficking is considered to be an impending disaster because it threatens the extinction of elephants and rhinos on the entire continent of Africa. Poaching for rhino horns and elephant tusks is a serious offense in Africa; however, just like everything else illegal, “where there's a will, there's a way”, in the sense that if there is a demand for it, someone will find a way to supply it (as evident with the drug cartel). The United States have made progress in implementing bans on ivory imports while other countries like Hong Kong and the Philippines for example have destroyed all confiscated ivory in an attempt to combat poaching and send a message to consumers. While improved monitoring and law enforcement may to some extent deter poaching and illegal wildlife trade, the ultimate solution to this problem lies in the hands of the retailers selling ivory products and the people consuming them. Perhaps through improved education on the severity of the problem, they will realize the gravity of their actions.

Bottom Line: Ultimately, it comes down to consumers and altruistic individuals coming together (through wildlife conservation organizations for example) and taking a stand against the slaughter of these magnificent creatures.

* These guest posts are from students in my resource economics class at Simon Fraser University. Please leave feedback on their logic, ideas and style and suggestions of how to improve.

1 comment:

  1. Relying on altruistic individuals and education is the same solution that it's on place now. An alternative economic solution would be to dramatically increase the supply of ivory to the market, leading to reduced prices and less illegal poaching. Farming elephant for their tusks would be an alternative economic solution to save the wild elephants.


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