VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
By Masha Kalinina, International Trade Policy Specialist, Humane Society International On a recent tour into Zimbabwe’s Matobo National Park – where white and black rhinos are being reintroduced – our group noticed that the horn of a white rhino we spotted was removed. I asked our guide why. “To deter poachers,” he replied. Knowing that…
For the last nine years, CITES parties have been negotiating a “decision-making mechanism,” (DMM), which would establish a process for a future trade in ivory. Today, the parties of CITES voted to end the long-running discussion.
Shark fins and gill plates of devil and manta rays are both hot commodities on the international black market. In Asia some people use the fins to make soup, considered a delicacy. The gill plates, which help the rays filter plankton from the water, are dried and used in traditional medicine. The Pew Charitable Trusts, a Philadelphia-based nonprofit, has a booth at this year’s meeting in Johannesburg of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), where they showcase real fins and gill plates from various species and explain the differences between them.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature released its 2016 African Elephant Status Report this morning, and the results are sobering: Africa has approximately 415,000 elephants, a net decline of more than 110,000 from the beginning of 2007 to the end of 2015.
Law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and business leaders gathered from across the world in Washington this week to share information and expertise and organize a concerted strategy to combat the global scourge of wildlife trafficking.
The unprecedented collaboration was heralded at the National Geographic Society’s headquarters on Tuesday, at an event held against the backdrop of recent news of a catastrophic plunge in the last wild populations of African elephants and other species. The meeting also set the stage for CITES CoP17, a conference in Johannesburg at the end of this month that will bring more than a hundred governments together to review the planet’s biggest wildlife challenges and opportunities.
All eyes are on government delegates attending the forthcoming 17th meeting of the Conference of Parties (CoP17), to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), opening on September 24 in Johannesburg. Many of the issues raised in motions at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Hawaii this week relate to illegal and unsustainable trade and to the impact of parallel legal markets for body parts of endangered species.
Things have improved since the dark days of 2011 and 2012 when ivory poaching across Africa appeared to be spiralling out of control and conservations began to contemplate the unthinkable: the extinction of the African elephant. On World Elephant Day 2016 there are grounds for cautious optimism. Nevertheless, it is too soon to assert that Africa’s elephants are safe.
The 17th Conference of the Parties to CITES in Johannesburg at the end of September is the perfect opportunity for China, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam to announce real action to end demand for tiger parts and products, Debbie Banks, leader of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) Tiger Campaign, said in a statement released in observance of Global Tiger Day…
“As the smoke rises and the flames crackle, it is hard not to be swept away by the mixed emotions this spectre creates. It is hard not to think about the thousands of elephants that died to make this fire. It is hard not to wonder if there isn’t a better way to honor their…