New stakeholders across the boundaries need to be engaged
A well solved challenge gives society a required environment to grow. People will be happy with authority figures. A challenge which recurs once solved requires a different approach. Dealing with the same group of individuals will fail to provide the required solution. It is key for one in the journey of exercising adaptive leadership to mobilize the system to make people face the challenge and to come up with possible solutions. In exercising adaptive leadership, understanding stakeholders and including them in the system will be key in solving the challenge.
Poaching continues to affect wildlife conservation in most African countries. Population for animals such as elephants, rhinos and lions have been declining for years. In 2011, Western Black Rhinos were declared by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature to have gone extinct. Extinction of animals remains the most devastating effect of poaching. Impact on the environment and economy have also been realised.
Poaching has been fueled by the readily available black market in China. In this market, animal parts such as tusks, bones and pelts are sold for a huge amount of money. Governments in Africa, animal rights groups and environmental groups for years have invested heavily in protecting wildlife. The governments have supported these groups to end poaching. This has been done through funds allocation on anti-poaching, providing dedicated and highly-trained anti-poaching forces, wildlife helicopter support, acquiring dog tracker packs and improved technologies such as animal trackers and drone technologies in monitoring of animals in the parks. Tougher measures were formulated to deter people from poaching. Despite this, animals have continued to be poached.
African Wildlife Foundation through partnership with governments, private groups and NGOs formulated three phased strategies in the fight against poaching in Africa. The three phases are: stop the killing, stop the demand and stop the trafficking. The strategy was on the basis that it impacts stakeholders in the whole cycle. To stop the killing, they placed the local community at the heart of protecting the wildlife. This was based on Professor James Scott’s outlined reasons for poaching and why it is challenging to control. He states that poaching is as a result of local community resistance. Locals have been sidelined and they have not benefited from wildlife conservation. As a result they engage in poaching for economic gains. It will be difficult to solve the problem without cooperation from the local community.
The second and third phase aimed at minimizing demand through educating society and to establish joint measures between different governments and unions in the fight against poaching. This ensured ever growing support toward banning of wildlife products. Through this initiative, China implemented a countrywide ivory ban in its black market in 2018. This led to an 80% decline in ivory being trafficked into the country from Africa.
Handling an adaptive challenge with the usual stakeholders may not lead to the required solution. From the above scenario, governments working with the military did not solve the problem. However, involvement of the local communities, people and government in the target market have led to significant success in the fight against poaching.
Thank you for watching. In our next lesson we are going to look at the fifth social flag of diagnosing an adaptive challenge Longer time frame needed