F&ES Student Talk on Ivory Trade
Honored at Conservation Conference
Yufang Gao M.E.Sc ’14, a second-year student from China, received “best talk” honors for his presentation on the international ivory trade during the 2013 Student Conference on Conservation Science – New York held last week at the American Museum of Natural History.
In his presentation, “Social Interactions in the Ivory Trade: Comparing Chinese and Western Perspectives,” Gao described the analytical framework he used to compare the starkly different cultural viewpoints on the ongoing slaughter of African elephants.
“Preliminary analysis shows Chinese and western societies are divided on their understanding about the scale and scope of ivory black market in China, the major ivory consumers and their motivations for buying ivory,” he said.
Gao, who is attempting to map the social context behind these different values and beliefs, compiled data from observations, analysis of news reports, and interviews conducted in China, Kenya, and the U.S.
“I suggested that the African elephant conservation could benefit from greater consensus among all participants in which they seek to clarify and secure their common interests. This will require adjustments in the current social process.”
Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles posted prior to July 1, 2020, refer to the School's name at that time.