Transitioning to non-toxic ammunition: Making change happen

Abstract

If the multiple negative health impacts associated with lead ammunition are to be mitigated, a transition to the non-toxic alternatives is needed. This paper aims to map out the pathways to such a transition via a modification of Kotter’s eight step theory of change, identifying key stakeholders, exploring options for those of us advocating change and the relationships between policy and persuasion. The focus is primarily on the UK, but it is of direct relevance to the rest of Europe and beyond. The theory of change model involves (1) creating urgency, (2) building coalitions, (3) creating a vision for change, (4) communicating that vision, (5) removing barriers to enable action, (6) creating short-term or geospatial wins, (7) building on the change and (8) embedding change in culture and regulation. The paper reflects on good progress to date in initial steps, but throughout subsequent steps creative engagement and other disciplines which appreciate the human dimensions such as mediation and psychology of behaviour change have been lacking. Although significant barriers remain for Step 5, the paper identifies the central vision of sustainability of hunting as a shared value around which most stakeholders can engage. The paper concludes that, given the growing momentum surrounding this issue in recent years, the phasing out of lead ammunition is at a tipping point.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the editor and reviewers for valuable comments which helped improve a first draft of the paper. We are also grateful to the numerous hunting stakeholders for various discussions which have brought good insights to the issue.

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Cromie, R., Newth, J. & Strong, E. Transitioning to non-toxic ammunition: Making change happen. Ambio 48, 1079–1096 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13280-019-01204-y

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Keywords

  • Conflict
  • Engagement
  • Lead ammunition
  • Stakeholder
  • Sustainable hunting
  • Theory of change