Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy, forthcoming
Abstract: Using the lens of international norm dynamics, this paper explores increasing contestation around the global norm to protect endangered species from over exploitation. Focusing on China’s recent announcement that it may lift its 25 year moratorium on the use of rhino horn and tiger bone use in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and calls from some African states for increased international trade in rhino, this paper explores current threats to the norm. As international discourse around the norm moves from debates about its applicability, to fundamental challenges to its validity, the norm is weakening. To protect the norm, it has become necessary for the adoption of less traditional approaches to the interpretation of the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) by members states. Going forward, CITES debates about how best to protect endangered species should emphasise both conservation and animal welfare concerns. This is an output from GRF Grant No 17655316. Please contact the author (firstname.lastname@example.org) to obtain the full text.