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The Elephant In The Room

By |2019-05-24T19:06:17+10:00August 17th, 2017|BTB|

As many of you who have been following Breaking The Brand (and now Nature Needs More) know, I have previously expressed my concern about the lack of ability (or willingness) of the large conservation organisations to challenge the current, rhino horn pro-trade agenda. Pro-trade advocates are happily stepping in to the void left by large conservation in this regard. They have created and honed simple, catchy messages that give the uninformed public the impression that current conservation efforts tackling the illegal wildlife trade are failing (which is largely correct) and that only allowing people to make money from exploiting them, if it pays it says approach, can ‘save’ them (which is a blatant lie). […]

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The Motivation To Contribute Research – Preliminary Results

By |2019-05-24T19:06:28+10:00July 5th, 2017|BTB|

Background While in the short-term demand reduction campaigns will be needed to change people’s motivations to consume illegal and endangered wildlife ‘products’, to ensure a long-term sustainable future we must provide alternative ways to engage with nature. This involves understanding how to re-direct desire in specific user groups, which is the last step in targeted demand reduction campaigns. We cannot assume that we can simply re-direct these users to ‘legal luxury consumption’. Reverting to mainstream luxury products may not fulfil their desire and may be seen as a backward step by some elite users of illegal wildlife products. Many of the target groups already engage in all forms of ‘legal luxury consumption’ (including the super-brands and hyper-brands), which is one [...]

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Recent Spike In Rhino Poaching

By |2019-05-24T19:06:37+10:00June 16th, 2017|BTB|

Reading news reports recently, there appears to have been a step up in rhino poaching in South Africa in the last few months Pro-trade groups are trying to attribute this to ‘poaching syndicates reacting to the threat of a potential legal trade in rhino horn’ (see red box). There is no evidence to back up this statement. This is pure conjecture to support their desire for a legal international trade; in the last few months the domestic trade in rhino horn has been legalised in South Africa, which I have commented on previously. Equally you could say that this step change in rhino poaching levels in the last few months could be a result of ‘poaching syndicates preparing for the [...]

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The Power of One

By |2019-05-24T19:06:54+10:00June 11th, 2017|BTB|

I often have people say to me “But what can one person achieve” or “What can I realistically do, I am only one person”. Well this weekend, I can give you two fantastic examples of The Power of One. Nicholas Duncan, Co-Founder and President of the SAVE African Rhino Foundation A couple of days ago, on the 10th June, The SAVE African Rhino Foundation celebrated 30 years of dedication to rhino conservation. I am sure people won’t realize that SARF is the world’s biggest NGO donor to Zimbabwe rhino conservation. Similarly, I am sure that people won’t know that SARF is the second oldest specialist rhino conservation NGO, after Save The Rhino Trust in Namibia and the 4th largest rhino [...]

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Want To Know Why Conservation Is Failing? Read On….

By |2019-05-24T19:07:04+10:00April 16th, 2017|BTB|

In recent years, as I have been monitoring the rhino horn trade/no-trade debate, it has become apparent that conservation groups, large and small, have very little ability to deal with government, donors, agencies, organisations or individuals who have a (overt or, particularly, covert) pro-trade agenda. This inability to fight back is not just about rhino horn, it is also why we find ourselves in a similar position on climate change, mining and many more issues. Reflection and Questioning Over the last year, we are seeing more articles of the type: Why conservation is failing Has big conservation gone astray? How big donors and corporations shape conservation And even the seemingly unchallengeable has been challenged: The BBC’s Planet Earth II did [...]

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A Load Of Bollocks

By |2019-05-24T19:07:15+10:00April 14th, 2017|BTB|

On 11 April 2017, the International Trade Centre published a paper titled: Demand in Viet Nam for rhinoceros horn used in traditional medicine. This expands on a paper published in 2016. The ITC paper focuses on Traditional Asian Medicine (TAM), not using rhino horn as a status symbol, which I will comment on later in the blog. It states that the ITC conducted a survey of 1,000 consumers of TAM, including 239 people who self-disclosed they used rhino horn. So, the first questions must be: Did they interview the users of genuine rhino horn or those buying fake rhino horn? Just how relevant was their survey group to the trade/no-trade debate? […]

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Trade Legalisation – A Greedy Person Is The Poorest Person In The World.

By |2019-05-24T19:07:25+10:00March 5th, 2017|BTB|

No one should be surprised about the South African governments legislation to allow a domestic trade in rhino horn. It has been very clear from the beginning that trade in rhino horn is what they support and want. What is troubling is how easy they got it, with little resistance from large conservation, international agencies or governments. While there has been a lot of ‘noise’ there hasn’t been much substance to the arguments put forward. Most discussions have been ideological and, while there is nothing wrong with that, they are not enough. I am sure that they feel that there has been a lot of behind-the-scenes diplomacy, but it seems they were played. As someone who has been observing systems [...]

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“Honesty is a very expensive gift. Don’t expect it from cheap people.”

By |2019-05-24T19:07:36+10:00January 18th, 2017|BTB|

This is just one of Warren Buffett’s quotes highlighted in Breaking The Brand’s Vietnamese New Year RhiNo campaign: The Gift Of Bad Luck. When Breaking The Brand started interviewing the wealthy users of rhino horn in 2013 we asked them who they were influenced by. Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, Richard Branson, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama were the answers. We first presented these findings publicly in March 2014 at the Zoo and Aquarium Association (ZAA) Annual Conference held in New Zealand and and we expanded on it in an October 2014 blog: Giving up rhino horn to be accepted into a higher status group. So, given our target groups’ expressed interest in global business and political ‘celebrities’ we have chosen to use quotes from [...]

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