Re-Inventing Magnificence – Conservation is the New Black

By |2019-05-24T19:10:04+10:00January 11th, 2016|BTB|

As some BTB supporters already know, I recently began a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Australian National University working in the area of cultural anthropology. The focus of the research is: How do current and historical cultures ascribe status to wildlife ‘products’ and what turns them into luxury items? The aim is to understand how this process works; of particular interest is how this knowledge may be utilised to achieve the reverse effect – turning a current luxury item (such as rhino horn) back into something no longer considered a luxury or desirable. This insight can then form the basis for creating demand reduction initiatives. As part of the initial literature search on the nature of luxury the concept of [...]

See Clearly – The Implications of South Africa’s Domestic Trade in Rhino Horn

By |2019-05-24T19:09:54+10:00December 27th, 2015|BTB|

In an article I wrote in July 2015 Desire To Supply Rhino Horn Drives Manufacture Of Demand:  I pointed out that while the South African government continues to keep the option of a legal trade in rhino horn on the table, the pro-trade lobby will focus on creating a ‘legal’ sales channel. To-date, the options discussed are: A legalisation of international trade, or A one-off sale of their stockpile, or Overturning the domestic trade ban in South Africa In recent weeks, and based solely on a legal technicality (see box on the right), the ban on domestic trade in South Africa was overturned.  Minister Molewa immediately appealed the ruling and so, for now, the rhino horn domestic trade ban is [...]

Reckless Australian Auction Rooms and Weak Domestic Wildlife Laws May Contribute to Worldwide Rhino Slaughter

By |2019-05-24T19:09:41+10:00November 1st, 2015|BTB|

I, like many people around the world, was disgusted at the sales of rhino horn in Sydney and Melbourne last week. As someone who calls Australia home feeling ashamed of the stupidity, naivety, greed and ignorance that enables this to happen was also part of the list of emotions I experienced. Having visited many rhino range countries and spoken with the people dealing with the tragedy of the current rhino slaughter, who are too regularly confronted with the death and mutilation of the rhinos in their care, I can only imagine how angry they must feel (http://www.sapeople.com/2015/10/28/stroop-should-rhino-horn-have-been-auctioned-in-australia/  at this uncaring act. Peter Fish’s first line in his Australian Financial Revive article reporting on the sales must have felt like someone [...]

Pro-Trade Response to Blog

By |2019-05-24T19:13:50+10:00September 27th, 2015|BTB|

Pro-Trade Response to BTB Blog: Viet Nam’s wealthy buyers of rhino don’t see horn from farmed rhino as a substitute product. http://breakingthebrand.org/farmed-rhino-horn-not-seen-as-substitute-product/ Given that the blog talks about the wealthy Vietnamese elite who can afford genuine, wild rhino horn are not interested in a farmed ‘product’, which is a critical point in the legalised trade debate, it was not a surprises that this blog was shared with the group: The Great BIG NO Trade/PRO Trade Rhino Debate. So far it has generated 5 comments and 3 patterns of response: Not a single rhino in SA is not behind a fence Breaking The Brand has not produced the desired results Breaking The Brand wants donations Before I responds to these three [...]

Farmed Rhino Horn Not Seen As Substitute Product

By |2019-05-24T19:13:59+10:00September 21st, 2015|BTB|

As people who say we care about rhinos we need to make a decision to get smarter faster if we really want to save these animals from extinction in the wild. I have several reasons for making this statement, for now I will focus on just two or three. This blog is a little lengthy, please don’t assign it to the TL;DR (Too Long; Didn’t Read) basket; a lack of attention to the detail of this complex issue is slowing down the solution to the rhino poaching problem. Firstly, in August 2012 TRAFFIC published a report: ‘The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus’ highlighting Viet Nam as the primary driver of the current rhino killing spree and the key users groups. It took about [...]

Chinese Cultural Evolution Aids Behaviour Change

By |2019-05-24T19:14:12+10:00September 6th, 2015|BTB|

If I was Chinese I would be disgusted that a group of people lobbying to legalise the trade in rhino horn where pushing a message that I was ‘stuck in a cultural mindset’ that would never enable me, my society or my country to evolve or change. The propaganda this pro-rhino-horn-trade group is pushing seems to say that ‘Because the Chinese and people of SE Asia have used rhino horn in the past then obviously they will ALWAYS use rhino horn because they are incapable of changing, so the only hope for the rhino is to sell rhino horn to them’. All this because the pro-trade people have stockpiled billions of dollars’ worth of rhino horn that they want to [...]

Explaining The Spiral Dynamics Model

By |2019-05-24T19:14:23+10:00August 20th, 2015|BTB|

Since launching Breaking The Brand in 2013 and highlighting the Spiral Dynamics, behaviour change, Model we use to create our rhino horn demand reduction campaigns in Viet Nam, we have constantly been asked for more information on the model and how it works.  I wrote an introductory blog about the model in January 2014:  http://breakingthebrand.org/values-development-behaviour-change-and-conservation/ providing examples on how it could be used in conservation. When a recent article profiling socially conscious billionaires talking up Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – ‘Zillionaires’ warned: wake up, it won’t last: http://www.executivestyle.com.au/zillionaires-warned-wake-up-it-wont-last-gi5vbj ) – caught my attention I decided to revisit Spiral Dynamics for a new blog. It can be used to explain why CSR didn’t have the impact we had hoped for and [...]

Discomfort Triggers Behaviour Change

By |2022-10-30T10:54:59+11:00July 21st, 2015|BTB|

The Breaking The Brand team feels very privileged that more groups are contacting us to ask about the behaviour change models we use; from the start we have been very happy to share our techniques and ideas. So as more animal welfare and wildlife groups are looking at how to change user and perpetrator behaviour, we hope you find this blog informative. There is a belief in many circles that all messages should be positive, don’t upset people, people only learn and change when they feel positive, are having fun and are engaged. This mindset is pervasive; it is naïve and just plain wrong. If this were true, then from a media perspective why don’t anti-smoking [...]

Desire To Supply Rhino Horn Drives Manufacture Of Demand

By |2022-10-30T10:53:03+11:00July 4th, 2015|BTB|

“Sales tricks are what you use to sell something to someone who doesn’t even know they want it.” The Salesman’s Mantra! As we discussed in a Blog from March 2015, Conservation vs. Wildlife Traffickers. Who do you think will win the war in wildlife crime?!, wildlife traffickers can increasingly be described as ‘market savvy, intuitive, ruthless, nimble entrepreneurs’. They have realised how comparably safe it is to get rich from dealing in wildlife. As a result they are now moving beyond simply exploiting the existing demand for high-value animal products such as rhino horn and ivory. Given how easy and lucrative it is to fill the demand for animal products compared to their other ‘businesses’, such as human, [...]

If the users REALLY wanted farmed rhino horn why isn’t Viet Nam farming their own?

By |2019-05-24T19:14:56+10:00June 13th, 2015|BTB|

A recent trip to South Africa clearly showed the Breaking The Brand team that very few people understood the nature of the demand or the users of genuine rhino horn. This is obviously very concerning since the South African government appears to be actively pursuing a trade legalisation agenda and they are creating risk-benefit models for pro/anti trade decisions based on incomplete information. Significantly, not enough people are asking the right questions: “Whilst we know that horns can be harvested for sale, are these the rhino horns that the wealthy users, driving the poaching of wild rhinos, will want to buy? Are farmed horns a substitute product for horns from wild rhinos to the primary user groups?” BTB’s research has [...]

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