Submission Title

Can We Save the Elephant?

Location

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Subject Area

Political Science

Description

Over the last 30 years, it has been extremely challenging for Africa to provide a safe home for elephants, not only because poachers overpower the anti-poaching units, but also because individual communities bear different cultural and social backgrounds. As the human population grows, conflict between locals and elephants is becoming more frequent. Furthermore, although there was a brief respite from the threat of poachers after the international ivory ban was introduced in 1990, the dramatically rising demand in China is challenging conservation efforts in Africa. With China’s relatively recent economic rise, as well as the almost instant availability of goods in both legal and illegal global markets, it has become easier than ever before for Chinese to symbolize their new-found wealth through ivory products. Therefore, adopting international norms on animal welfare has not been a simple task for either China or Africa. Although Africa lost a staggering number of elephants, some countries have effectively developed wildlife management programs and not only preserved elephants but also provided opportunities for the local human population. In order to implement the policy effectively, this paper argues that localization in the perception of laws by offering incentives and taking the sensitivity of pre-existing local environments into account is crucial. Finally, the paper explores the potential of future conservation partnerships between Africa and China.

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Can We Save the Elephant?

Vivian A. Bull Music Center: Delkin Recital Hall

Over the last 30 years, it has been extremely challenging for Africa to provide a safe home for elephants, not only because poachers overpower the anti-poaching units, but also because individual communities bear different cultural and social backgrounds. As the human population grows, conflict between locals and elephants is becoming more frequent. Furthermore, although there was a brief respite from the threat of poachers after the international ivory ban was introduced in 1990, the dramatically rising demand in China is challenging conservation efforts in Africa. With China’s relatively recent economic rise, as well as the almost instant availability of goods in both legal and illegal global markets, it has become easier than ever before for Chinese to symbolize their new-found wealth through ivory products. Therefore, adopting international norms on animal welfare has not been a simple task for either China or Africa. Although Africa lost a staggering number of elephants, some countries have effectively developed wildlife management programs and not only preserved elephants but also provided opportunities for the local human population. In order to implement the policy effectively, this paper argues that localization in the perception of laws by offering incentives and taking the sensitivity of pre-existing local environments into account is crucial. Finally, the paper explores the potential of future conservation partnerships between Africa and China.