Free Market Perspective in Wildlife Conservation

Lesson from Million Dollar Arm
October 8, 2014
Life,Meaning and Happiness
January 3, 2015

Wildlife is our heritage, it is our invaluable treasure. We need to preserve it for the future. The solutions for effective conservation of our wildlife lay not only in government alone but also actually in free market environmental policies and in individual morality.Wildlife Conservation “is the activity of protecting, preserving, managing and studying wildlife and wildlife resources” (Canada National Parks 2004) and Free Market” is a market in which any individual may exchange their products or services by competitive bidding, open to all, without constraint “(The National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act 1972)

The Problem
The Man –Wildlife conflict is a prevalent situation in East African region. At home, there is no conflict between sheep and man. What happened between man and the tiger? Why are the elephants injuring, killing and displacing man? 100 people yearly are killed in India and over 200 Kenyans died over the last decade with Kenya wildlife authority shooting over 120 elephants (World Wildlife Fund 2006). Why is the rhino an endangered species? Is man intruding into the wild space because of resource scarcity? Or is this lack effective management framework? The question is how can we enhance co-existence between the wildlife and man to promote better livelihood for now and tomorrow using the potential of our wildlife?


How Free Market Can Help?
How did we solve the cow eating our neighbours’ crops, man killing the cow unnecessarily-precisely endangering the wildlife? We brought in responsibility and ownership. Man is free to own with the motivation of gain/profit, and by having him own the cow, he becomes responsible to take are of it, to ensure it does little damage and in fact to foster usefulness of the cow using the potential of the cow for his today’s life and tomorrow. Inherent to Free market system is accountability and competitive co-operation and if we enact policies that have a business perspective, it is easy to realize accountability (Peter 1998).
The parks and game parks can be managed as any other income-generating venture. This ensures effective management through self-sufficiency, accountability and customer driven framework and also promotes sustainability of wildlife management in this region. †Zimbabwe launched a market-based initiative that a villager could market big game to safari companies in exchange of money. This reduced number of killed animals significantly. Laws founded on ethics are good but laws do not allow decision makers to look at the costs and benefits (Terry 2004). Laws do not allow us to say that if keeping the ecosystem is more beneficial than costly then we keep it but free market does.
In as much as free market-based initiatives form a greater part of the solution, free market needs to be informed by ethics for moral guidance (Peter 1998) to successfully realize sustainable wildlife conservation and this is why we need leaders with the conviction that virtues are a universal guidance in day-to-day decision-making? Laws by government should consider this free market alternative and should strictly embody ethics.


Anderson T.L., Fall 2004, MARKETS AND THE ENVIRONMENT, FRIENDS OR FOES?’, Case Western Reserve Law Review,Vol 55,No 5, viewed 4 November,

Hill L..P, Markets and Morality, 1998,PERC Viewpoints, viewed 5th November 2006,Vol 1,No.4, pp1-6

WWF, 2006,Islands of wildlife in a sea of humans? Human – Animal Conflict,

Special Places, co-lessons from the National Parks in Atlantic Canada,2004
The National Economic Stabilization and Recovery Act,

†(Karl Hess Jr. (Thoreau Institute), June 5, 1997,”Environmentalists vs. Wildlife,” Wall Street Journal Cited by NCPA in

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