In Episode 38 of the Behind the Schemes podcast, our guest is Dr. Ronald Orenstein and we’re taking a closer look at market-based responses to “solving” the issue of illegal rhino horn trade.
Dr. Orenstein is the author of eight books on science and nature, including Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis. He holds a Ph.D. in Zoology (Ornithology) from the University of Michigan and an LL.B. from the University of Toronto.
Since 1987, Dr. Orenstein has been an Observer at meetings of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and was one of the engineers of the compromise amendment that led to an international ivory ban at the 1989 CoP. He is a consultant for Humane Society International (HSI) and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Species Survival Network (SSN) and the Elephant Research Foundation (ERF). In 2002, Dr. Orenstein was appointed to the Freshwater Turtle and Tortoise Specialist Group of the of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Commission.
Have a listen to what Dr. Orenstein has to say about “flooding the market” with rhino horn and the viability of using lab-grown rhino horn to save rhinos:
[00:03:20] Dr. Orenstein talks about U.S. alcohol prohibition and “flooding the market” with rhino horn.
[00:06:40] Dr. Orenstein talks about rhino horn consumption in Vietnam.
[00:07:30] Dr. Orenstein talks about “banking on extinction”.
[00:09:35] Dr. Orenstein talks about the use of “alternative” sources of rhino horn to reduce rhino poaching.
[00:11:26] Dr. Orenstein explains Asian consumer preferences regarding wildlife products.
[00:13:40] Dr. Orenstein warns about the effect of bioengineered rhino horn on our global law enforcement network.
[00:16:44] Dr. Orenstein talks about the South African government’s position on bioengineered rhino horn.
[00:18:17] Dr. Orenstein talks about media coverage of bioengineered rhino horn.
[00:19:22] Dr. Orenstein talks about applying “economics” to wildlife trafficking.
[00:23:49] Dr. Orenstein talks about the ethics of selling rhino horn to terminally ill people.
[00:28:03] Dr. Orenstein talks about the effectiveness of consumer demand reduction programs.
[00:34:10] Dr. Orenstein talks about the CITES ban and domestic bans on rhino horn trade.
[00:40:46] Dr. Orenstein talks about privately-owned rhinos in South Africa.
[00:43:36] Dr. Orenstein talks about soundbites vs. research-based reporting.
Learn more about the history of rhino horn and ivory trade — and what we need to do in order to protect rhinos and elephants:
- Purchase Ron’s book Ivory, Horn and Blood: Behind the Elephant and Rhinoceros Poaching Crisis
- Subscribe to the Behind the Schemes podcast on iTunes.