Reducing demand presents the hardest problem in tackling illegal wildlife trade, but it is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle.
In order to stop illegal wildlife trade, we need to address the underlying reasons why these items are traded. In addition to focusing on protecting species in their natural habitat, it is also crucial that we create long lasting change by addressing the ultimate driver of this trade: Demand.
As long as there is demand for a particular product, there will always be a market for it. For high value illegal wildlife products like ivory and rhino horn, this means there will always be motivation to supply the products. It’s important that everyone is aware of illegal wildlife trade because that helps all of us make the right choices in terms of what we buy or consume.
Wildlife products are sought and used for:
– Traditional medicines
– Luxury or trophy items
– The exotic pet trade
Changing global mindsets to reduce demand is increasingly important if we are to find a permanent way to stop illegal wildlife trade. This presents the hardest problem in tackling illegal wildlife trade, but it is perhaps the most important piece of the puzzle. If there is no demand for a product or item, poaching and trafficking will stop.