How Wildlife Trade Bans Are Failing Africa's Animals
Decades after more than 100 countries agreed to ban the rhinoceros horn trade in 1979, poachers are killing record numbers of the endangered species. And rhinos are not alone. Many other animals -- including elephants and tigers -- are also facing the prospect of extinction, all in spite of long-standing trade bans.
Such trade bans are failing in large part because they have run into the same basic problem as the war on drugs. Prohibitions on trading wildlife products such as tusks and timber have ultimately made them more valuable. And criminal organizations have moved in and taken over the market, imposing high costs -- through violence and corruption -- on weak societies.