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Breaking the deadlock on ivory


Biggs, D and Holden, MH and Braczkowski, A and Cook, CN and Milner-Gulland, EJ and Phelps, J and Scholes, RJ and Smith, RJ and Underwood, FM and Adams, VM and Allan, J and Brink, H and Cooney, R and Gao, Y and Hutton, J and Macdonald-Madden, E and Maron, M and Redford, KH and Sutherland, WJ and Possingham, HP, Breaking the deadlock on ivory, Science, 358, (6369) pp. 1378-1381. ISSN 0036-8075 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2017 the authors

DOI: doi:10.1126/science.aan5215


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:biological product, ivory, conservation management, elephant, environmental policy
Research Division:Environmental Sciences
Research Group:Environmental management
Research Field:Conservation and biodiversity
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the environmental sciences
UTAS Author:Adams, VM (Associate Professor Vanessa Adams)
ID Code:126575
Year Published:2017
Web of Science® Times Cited:42
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2018-06-18
Last Modified:2018-08-13

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