Tackling Illegal Wildlife Trade Through Behaviour Change Intervention

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Foto : Pixabay.com

Kuala Lumpur (Greeners) – Researches from Indonesia, London and Portugal, discussed ways and approaches to public, directly and indirectly, involves in illegal wildlife trade with the strategy of behaviour change intervention at International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB) 2019 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Indonesia as the second largest biodiversity country in the world is facing massive threats of illegal wildlife trade. Nuruliawati, a researcher of Wildlife Conservation Society, said that 140 to 154 millions of Indonesians own songbirds.

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She said the result came from a survey via text messaging service or SMS sent to 340,000 users of Telkomsel in Indonesia, which proved to be effective to know the distribution and demand of songbirds in the country.

“So, from 340,000 numbers, we received 5,700 replies and half of it, or 54%, said yes to own songbirds. We tried to reflect the data into the population, there are 140 million people own songbirds and its distribution mostly in West Java,” she said to Greeners in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Tuesday (23/07/2019).

Nuruliawati (WCS) kedua dari kanan berjilbab, Helen O’Neill (ZSL) ujung paling kiri. Foto : www.greeners.co/Dewi Purningsih.

Based on the survey, there are 38 species of songbirds and 14 out of the numbers are protected. Hence, the society tried to approach the owners to be educated.

“The actors have been mapped out, from there, we will guide them to be more sustainable. We don’t want to sending someone to jail, so we don’t use law enforcement. That’s the government’s job. We want to establish partnerships with these actors to be legal and sustainable owners,” she said.

The same approach is applied by Helen O’Neill of Zoological Society of London for pangolins, where they tried a focus group discussion on the consumers.

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As a result, the use of pangolin’s meats are for medicinal purpose. “We tried to approach and educate directly on people consuming pangolins for the last 12 months. This is to create the change of behaviour,” said O’Neill.

Furthermore, she said that pangolins are being exported to China for medicinal. Based on the survey, there were 16,000 pangolins sent to China from countries, such as Indonesia, The year of survey is between July 2000 to July 2016.

ICCB 2019 is a congress attended by academicians, researchers, practitioners, to representatives of government agencies from around the world in biology conservation and environment. The congress is held on 21-25 July in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center of Malaysia.

Report by Dewi Purningsih