Commitmen from Langowan Market Seller

Part of our Wildlife Trade Mitigation Strategy, a major goal of reaching out to local markets is to engage with local sellers in ten markets to build upon our previous positive lessons and social diffusion approaches to influence a crucial target group of sellers across North Sulawesi, to stop selling protected species, in particular the Yaki. From the bushmeat market surveys that have been done by Selamatkan Yaki, we have indicated 10 priority markets to be engaged.

After several careful meetings with traders in their stalls, an agreement was reached – the pledge to support the efforts to turn the Tomohon’s market into a green market by not selling endangered and protected species. They agreed to help abandon the existing stigma of referring to the traditional market as “extreme market” and foster new perceptions and feelings of pride through their involvement in the campaign: “Bekeng Sulut Bangga; Bangga nyanda bajual deng konsumsi satwa liar terancam dan dilindungi” (Make North Sulawesi Proud; Proud not to sell and eat the meat of endangered and protected wildlife).

Aiming to duplicate the success in the Tomohon market, similar approaches were adopted in Langowan market in Minahasa. The first meeting is always the hardest and it was particularly difficult at Langowan market, since it happened that several traders were sentenced to jail for selling protected wildlife in the past. It was, therefore, harder to start an open conversation about protecting the wildlife. The team had to carefully design the approach by initiating a concept of “Traders, Friends of Nature” to invite them into socialization.

After changes of strategies and the second wave of pandemic restrictions, we were delighted that finally in October, fifteen traders signed the declaration “Traders in Langowan Market are proud for not selling protected and endangered species”.

Market sellers from Tomohon and Langowan markets, have committed themselves, to join the efforts in tackling illegal wildlife trade, by signing an official and public declaration. These declarations from key markets mark a turning point on tackling illegal trade of wildlife in the area and should be very influential for other important areas where we continue these approaches, focused on working closely with communities to foster collective demand for change.

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