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Breaking the deadlock on ivory

Biggs, D, Holden, MH, Braczkowski, A, Cook, Carly N, Milner-Gulland, EJ, Phelps, J, Scholes, RJ, Smith, RJ, Underwood, FM, Adams, VM ORCID: 0000-0002-3509-7901, Allan, J, Brink, H, Cooney, R, Gao, Y, Hutton, J, Macdonald-Madden, E, Maron, M, Redford, KH, Sutherland, WJ and Possingham, HP 2017 , 'Breaking the deadlock on ivory' , Science, vol. 358, no. 6369 , pp. 1378-1381 , doi: 10.1126/science.aan5215.

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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 anantagonistic environment among elephant conservationists. Successful solutions mustbegin by recognizing the different values that influence stakeholder cognitive frameworksof how actions lead to outcomes (“mental models”) (3), and therefore their divergingpositions on ivory trade (4). Based on successful conflict resolution in other areas, wepropose an iterative process through which countries with wild elephant populationsmay be able to understand their differences and develop workable solutions in a less confrontational manner.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Biggs, D and Holden, MH and Braczkowski, A and Cook, Carly N 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
Keywords: biological product, ivory, conservation management, elephant, environmental policy
Journal or Publication Title: Science
Publisher: Amer Assoc Advancement Science
ISSN: 0036-8075
DOI / ID Number: 10.1126/science.aan5215
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 the authors

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