When you hear the phrase 'trophy hunter' your brain might instinctively go to Hugh Hefner. But cast aside those thoughts for now to focus on the sport in which people pay money to hunt an animal, and take a part of that animal (usually the head) as a trophy of their hunt. As you can imagine, people have very strong beliefs about this topic. But the issue is very complex, so let me try unravel it.
Funnily enough the topic of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) covers the issues arising when people come into conflict with wildlife. But it's no laughing matter. Such conflicts can severely impact the lives of both the people and wildlife involved, and developing solutions can be extremely difficult. So how do we resolve these conflicts?
The world's being covered in a blanket of cow fart, there's way more people than ever before, we're flying around the world to 'find ourselves', and now man-made climate change is perhaps the biggest threat facing the world today. With such huge consequences on such an enormous scale, it's easy to give up and believe we as individuals can't make a difference. But we can! Let's talk about how.
I keep hearing about palm oil affecting orang-utans in Indonesia, so what's going on? Oil palm is an extremely high yielding and valuable crop that produces an oil and other products which are used around the world. Demands from China, Asia and Europe are particularly high, and as a result forests are being continuously torn down, meaning the wildlife has nowhere to go. Palm oil is big business, and the rights of indigenous people are often abused during the process. So what can we do to make it more sustainable?
This isn't about elephants making dodgy deals in a dark alleyway. Illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade is a huge and continuously growing threat to biodiversity. It is one of the highest valued illicit trade sectors in the world, estimated to be worth $8-10 billion even when excluding fish and timber. How do we tackle such an enormous business?
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