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The Nature Conservancy

Changing Perceptions of Ivory Trade with The Nature Conservancy

Elephants in Crisis

The global elephant ivory trade has spurred the poaching of elephants in Africa and greatly reduced the elephant population. As an organization dedicated to wildlife and environmental conservation, The Nature Conservancy has long been at the frontline working on this issue of elephant conservation. With the Chinese government beginning to take efforts to resolve the issue, The Nature Conservancy wanted to support these efforts by gaining a better understanding of consumers’ motives and identifying potential ways to change behavior.

The Nature Conservancy partnered with APCO Insight, the opinion research group at APCO Worldwide, to develop and identify messaging that would compel long-term attitudinal and behavioral shifts to result in lowered consumption of elephant ivory in China.

Data Driven Solution

Through qualitative and quantitative research, APCO isolated the messages that would resonate with potential ivory consumers, as well as the messages to avoid. The research identified the large swath of the population who, through credible spokespeople and messages, can be convinced not to buy ivory.

Knowledge Sharing to Speak With a Unified Voice

The Nature Conservancy utilized the research findings to inform key government, corporate and NGO stakeholders involved in the international response to the ivory issue. The research APCO developed was shared with the leading NGOs involved in public education campaigns in China which provided the foundation for strategic recommendations on the most effective messages that could change behavior and perceptions.