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How Loss of Wildlife Leads to Child Slavery
NIINA HEIKKINEN and CLIMATEWIRE – Scientific American
What do child slavery in Ghana, Somali piracy and the illegal global ivory trade have in common? Their root causes can all be traced back to declining wildlife populations.
At least that’s the theory of a group of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who looked at how wildlife loss impacts conflict in places where people depend on wildlife to survive.
Justin Brashares and his colleagues say that the way governments and international organizations respond to crimes like poaching often do not address the full “ecological, social and economic complexity of wildlife-related conflict.”
“We thought it was critical to connect the dots” among disciplines, said Brashares, the lead author of a paper published recently in the journal Science.
“If we don’t provide people with livelihoods, if we don’t change market dynamics, then we aren’t going to win.”