Wildlife and Business

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 1607 , Published on 02 December 2011
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Today wildlife trade has become a business which involves lots of money. Poaching has become one of the most common wildlife related crimes committed. Wild plants and animals are sold as food, for medicine, leather and other purposes for moneyendangering many wild species in the process. Some common examples include trading of elephants for ivory and tigers for their skin and bones. Some other endangered species include coral, conch shells, green turtles, crocodiles etc. Between 1996 and 2001 itself, 88 million wild orchids, 7.5 million live caught reptiles and 6.2 million wild-caught live birds were traded globally. Further as per the Wildlife Protection Society of India(WPSI) crime data almost 15300 wildlife crimes involving more than 400 species in terms of poaching etc. have been committed of which records are available.

 

Apart from wildlife related crimes various business processes also have a detrimental impact on wildlife. As industries expand they can adversely impact the surrounding wildlife both directly and indirectly. Direct impact occurs with displacement of wildlife from its habitat. Indirect impact is visible through changes in the feeding and breeding behaviour of wild species, changes in their reproductive capacities and mutations and other such changes. Today as all industries expand they have some direct or indirect impact on the surrounding wildlife. For instance Construction business, an extremely resource intensive industry can be extremely environment damaging. This industry can strongly impact the wildlife and biodiversity around. New construction projects can lead to habitat degradation and displacement and have indirect impacts as well. Mining of materials like timber, gravel, iron etc. also potentially damages the environment. Then there is the airline industry, cruises and other modes of transportation which can be used effectively for wildlife trade especially poaching encouraging trans-boundary smuggling of animals, plants and wildlife related products for money.

However it is not just the industrial sector which damages the environment and can harm wildlife but agriculture can play a significant role as well. Today agricultural practices are becoming modernised with increasing focus on the quantity of crops produced and the related profitability. As agriculture gets more and more mechanised its adverse impact on agriculture and related wildlife becomes more visible.

Today there are various organisations like WWF, TRAFFIC, WPSI, CITES etc.along with wildlife sanctuaries to emphasise upon the need to protect wildlife. Various initiatives are also being undertaken by various industrial houses for the same. For instance Coca Cola is changing the colour of its cans from red to white to promote awareness and to protect the polar bear of Artic. Though a step forward has been taken to protect wildlife the journey has just begun and many more such steps needs to be taken before the desired destination can be reached.

What one needs to understand is that wildlife conservation is equally important for maintaining ecological balance and ensuring survival as any other species. However if we do not save Mother Earth and its wildlife today there will be no Mother Earth to save us tomorrow.

This article has been authored by Ankita Shah from IIM Shillong


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