Taking a more nuanced look at demand reduction
Thomas-Walters, L., Veríssimo, D., Gadsby, E., Roberts, D. and Smith, B. (2018). Taking a more nuanced look at demand reduction. 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. doi: 10.17011/conference/eccb2018/107339
© the Authors, 2018
The illegal wildlife trade is a multibillion dollar industry, and a major cause of wildlife declines (Nellemann et al. 2014). It can contribute to the spread of invasive species and diseases, and the loss of biodiversity in ecosystems can have knock-on effects on their stability, productivity, and efficiency. Conservationists increasingly recognise the importance of demand-side interventions in the form of demand reduction, with multiple calls for demand reduction in both the academic and grey literature (e.g. (Challender et al. 2014; Burgess 2016)). Demand reduction campaigns are just beginning to be implemented in the conservation sector. However, much of these developments have neglected other sectors such as public health or international development which have used behaviour change approaches for years. In this talk I examine how conservation scientists can learn from the successes of these other fields, and suggest that at present we may be overly optimistic about the potential of demand reduction for achieving radical behaviour change. Understanding how we could maximise the success of demand reduction campaigns could help to cement the place of behaviour change approaches within conservation but it is extremely difficult to achieve, even considering the resources and longevity of practitioners in other fields. Success is often partial and costly, more difficult to achieve when there is less room to manoeuvre, and depends on product characteristics. I advocate for whole systems approaches that may help us address the unintended consequences of our interventions in complex environments. References Burgess, G., 2016. Powers of persuasion? Conservation communications, behavioural change and reducing demand for illegal wildlife products. TRAFFIC Bulletin, 28(2), pp.65-73. Challender, D.W.S. et al., 2014. Changing behavior to tackle the wildlife trade. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 12(4), p.203. Nellemann, C. et al., 2014. The environmental crime crisis - Threats to sustainable development from illegal exploitation and trade in wildlife and forest resources. A UNEP Rapid Response Assessment., Nairobi and Arendal. ...
PublisherOpen Science Centre, University of Jyväskylä
ConferenceECCB2018: 5th European Congress of Conservation Biology. 12th - 15th of June 2018, Jyväskylä, Finland
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- ECCB 2018