Biodiversity conservation is contingent upon managing human behaviour and, at times, changing behaviour. This is particularly relevant to the illegal trade in wildlife and wildlife products, both flora and fauna. Driven by dynamics of consumer demand and illicit supply, mitigation of illegal trade requires a fuller appreciation of human behaviour and methods to change it. In various sectors, social influence, behavioural insights, social marketing and human-centred approaches trend towards mainstream practice and policy application. However, in the context of conservation and wildlife trafficking, these approaches and their usefulness are not well-articulated nor application widespread. Here, we provide a practical overview of relevant behaviour change methods and frameworks. We discuss their usefulness and potential application to mitigating the illegal wildlife trade, in general and consumer demand, in particular.
The challenge and opportunity of behaviour change methods and frameworks to reduce demand for illegal wildlife