Legal Trade Can Save Endangered Wildlife

“The truth is, if they [species] have no economic value, these animals are far more difficult to conserve. This fact is reinforced every day on the ground in Africa when a villager sees more value in protecting his livestock by poisoning a lion than he does in letting the lion live.” – Can Private Conservation Contribute to Species Survival? ~ Andrew Wyatt

Reblogged from the Wall Street Journal.

By ARANCHA GONZÁLEZ
March 2, 2014 6:01 p.m. ET

By 1979 vicuñas were almost extinct in the Andes. Now there are more than 400,000.

The United Nations will mark the first official World Wildlife Day on March 3. This is welcome news, because unless a solution to the global poaching problem is found, iconic species such as the tiger, rhinoceros and elephant face extinction within 20 years.At the recent London Conference on Illegal Wildlife Trade, 46 countries and 11 international organizations signed a declaration that sets out a three-pronged approach to protect wildlife. The declaration calls for increasing enforcement of laws against poaching, reducing demand for wildlife products, and the “sustainable utilization” of wildlife.

Vicunas Associated Press

Vicunas Associated Press

While enforcement and demand reduction are necessary and clear, less is known about what sustainable use actually means—and how it can solve the overharvesting and poaching of wild animals and plants.

Combating illegal trade has been the focus of much recent attention. But the real question is how to set up a well-managed legal trade that is sustainably managed and benefits the poor rural communities where many threatened species are found.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal…

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