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Reducing demand for illegal wildlife products - WC1110

The illegal trade in wildlife is a substantial threat to the survival of many species. In the past, efforts to address this trade have been primarily focused on law enforcement to prevent the poaching and illegal harvest of animals and plants, and trafficking of their parts, products and derivatives along trade routes. However, a complementary effort is also required to address demand amongst consumers. This need has been recognised by governments, international organisations, NGOs and others, through several high-level declarations and commitments to action. Stakeholders now have an imperative to understand and apply the most effective and efficient strategic approaches through which to change consumer choice, and shift purchasing preference and buyer behaviour away from illegal wildlife products.

Within this context, the UK government commissioned and funded a research project to identify insights into what could be effective in changing illegal wildlife product consumer behaviour.
The activities in this project, with a particular focus on elephant and rhinoceros products, are summarised as follows:

1 To undertake a scoping study, to take stock of existing evidence and knowledge and identify gaps arising;
2. To undertake an evidence and literature review (ELR), to fill an element of those gaps, and identify insights that could help strengthen future efforts to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products;
3. To conduct primary research to pilot particularly promising methods and approaches in filling any knowledge gaps identified through the scoping study;
4. To deliver a project workshop, through which draft findings from the project research could be presented to, and discussed by, stakeholders and experts; including those working in NGOs, ‘think tanks’, research institutions and academia, media, marketing, advertising, business management consultancies and PR, government representatives, and others; and
5. To capture key insights through a final project research report, providing a common reference point for those with a stake, passion, interest or mandate in changing consumer behaviour and reducing demand for illegal wildlife products.

Relevant communication products and authorised outputs will also be included in the ‘Wildlife Consumer Behaviour Change Toolkit’ (, developed outside of the project and funded through other sources.

The project has been implemented by a consortium of organisations, featuring TRAFFIC, WWF, Imperial College London and the University of Oxford.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : Reducing demand for illegal wildlife products - Main report   (11419k)
• OTH - Other : Reducing demand for illegal wildlife products - Research Briefing   (6548k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2015

To: 2016

Cost: £68,934
Contractor / Funded Organisations