Promoting pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors to reduce the consumption of illegal wildlife products in China
The world is experiencing an unprecedented wildlife poaching crisis, which has already endangered and brought near to extinction hundreds of species. The rising purchasing power of growing middle classes in Asian countries is thought to be driving the increase in poaching activities in recent decades. China in particular is one of the world's largest consumers of legal and illegal wildlife products. Despite international regulations and national governmental efforts to curb illegal wildlife trade, the considerable Chinese demand for products like ivory tusks, rhino horn, tiger bone and pangolin scales continues to fuel poaching activities around the world. NGOs in China have attempted to address this demand through public awareness campaigns. The effectiveness of their efforts, however, remains debatable, and further studies into the nature of demand are required to formulate better campaigns and strategies. Therefore, the present report analyzes the different combinations of attitudes and behaviors that Chinese people can adopt with regards to the consumption of illegal wildlife products. The objective is to identify areas of opportunity for governmental and NGO efforts to reduce the consumption of wildlife products, based on what we know about the distribution of attitudes and behavior among the Chinese people. The recommendations that conclude this report underline the need to combine well-targeted public awareness campaigns with governmental law enforcement to address the issue before it is too late.