Policy ForumCollective Action

Social norms as solutions

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Science  07 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6308, pp. 42-43
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf8317

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  • RE: “Collective Action: Social norms as solutions
    • Zhigang Jiang, Professor, 1 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, CITES Scientific Authority of P. R. China, Beijing 100101, China; 2 Univers

    The deterministic effect of the CITES and nominal impacts of social norms on global wildlife trade
    IN THEIR PAPER “Collective Action: Social norms as solutions” (Oct. 7, 354: 42-43), Nyborg et al. claimed: when formal institutions like laws and treaties are not able to enforce collectively desirable outcomes in global issues; then social norms can play important roles in global issue. In the just closed 17th Conference of Parties (CoP 17) of Convention on International Trade in Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Johannesburg, South Africa on Oct. 4, 2016, it seemed this assertion was not true.
    International trade of wild animals and wild plants threated the survival of those ones in trade, thus for preventing the wild animals and plants from extinction due to international trade, countries in the world haves been working together under the banner of CITES since 1975. Now 183 countries have ratified the CITES. Over 5,600 species of animals and 30,000 species of plants are listed in the three CITES Appendices and thus are protected by the convention against over-exploitation through international trade (www.cites.org).
    The demand for wild animals and plants is driven by impetus of consumers, therefore, on the other hand, social norms have been used in the endeavor of changing people’s consuming behavior, even public figures like poplar NBA basketball star, Yao Ming, movies star Li Bingbing were employed in the camp...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.