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Wildlife Trade Symposium: Evolving Perspectives on the demand for illegal wildlife products

By Oxford University

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The Oxford Martin Programme on the Illegal Wildlife Trade aims to provide an international hub for interdisciplinary research on the illegal wildlife trade, and foster strong partnerships across sectors, particularly through its Wildlife Trade Symposia. Evolving Perspectives on the Demand for Illegal Wildlife Products is our first symposium to be held in Oxford, on the 25th-27th September 2017. The illegal and unsustainable wildlife trade is a major and growing threat to biodiversity, contributing to severe population declines. Annually, hundreds of millions of plants and animals are traded and derived into numerous products, consumed for different motivations and values, such as medicinal, food, gifting and cultural. The symposium will share approaches to better understand and address this challenge, present case studies to highlight the complexities of this work and how the consumer demand side of the trade links to the supply side of the trade, and offer opportunities to discuss practical and pragmatic possibilities to move forward. This three-day event will be an opportunity for people with a common interest, but from different disciplines, backgrounds and institutions to connect with one another, facilitating knowledge exchange, raising awareness of potential synergies and collaborations, and catalyse new initiatives and partnerships. Our symposium is aimed at providing a much-needed opportunity for people to work together more effectively within the wildlife trade field, helping to build a cohesive network of individuals and organisations and to bridge the gap between academia and practice.