VOICES Ideas and Insight From Explorers
Tag archives for CITES
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…
Indonesian government agencies, supported by the Wildlife Crimes Unit (WCU) of the Wildlife Conservation Society, this week confiscated two illegally caught whale sharks from a major supplier of large marine megafauna to the international wildlife trade. The bust followed an 18-month investigation into a sophisticated operation that the WCU was first alerted to in late 2014.
March 3 is World Wildlife Day and the theme this year is: “The future of wildlife is in our hands.” One often-overlooked aspect of this is the current crisis of the global illegal trade in wildlife for use as pets. From Peruvian titi monkeys to Central Africa’s African grey parrots to Madagascar’s plowshare tortoises, the illegal global pet trade threatens countless species, sending many hurtling toward extinction.
Reversing overfishing, climate change, and population growth can seem insurmountable. Safina Center Fellows strive to amplify the global conservation discussion and, in targeted ways and places, they make a difference. Their drive to redefine the future of our planet starts with the belief that progress is possible. —Carl Safina In the following interview, shark experts…
There is now clearer recognition that sustainable development and biodiversity conservation are inextricably linked and that one cannot succeed without the other. The UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals address conservation of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The new agenda specifies that UN member states will “conserve and sustainably use oceans and seas, freshwater resources, as well as forests, mountains and drylands and to protect biodiversity, ecosystems and wildlife.” And SDG targets specifically refer to endangered species, calling for an end to wildlife poaching and trafficking.
By Adam Cruise
Two of South Africa’s largest private rhino breeders have taken the South African government to court in an effort to lift a moratorium that bans domestic trade in rhino horn.
By Susan Lieberman
What do the Taj Mahal, Yellowstone National Park, the Great Wall of China, and Virunga National Park have in common? They are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, protected by an international convention recognizing that they and another thousand special places around the world are the common heritage of humanity and deserve the highest level of protection.
By Dr. Erick Ross Salazar of the MarViva Foundation (a Mission Blue partner) Sharks are an essential part of the oceans. Their presence is an indicator of the good health of an ecosystem; their absence is representative of an overfished and out of balance marine environment. Even though sharks have been traditionally vilified in movies and general media,…
By John Robinson
Today the Republic of Congo burned its confiscated hardwood timber and the country’s entire stockpile of illegal ivory. With the destruction of 4.7 metric tons of ivory, the Republic of Congo joins a growing list of countries opting to burn or crush ivory stockpiles as a means of sending a global message on the plight of elephants and a warning to would-be traffickers.
By Shari Sant Plummer with contributions by Courtney Mattison Three hundred forty two miles west of mainland Costa Rica lies an oceanic island so spectacular Jacques Cousteau called it the “most beautiful island in the world.” Cascading waterfalls cut through lush foliage, the symphony of a thousand seabirds echoes in your ears, and…
By John G. Robinson
The illegal wildlife trade is big business. Not including the illegal trade in timber, it exceeds $19 billion annually. The trade is heavily capitalized and is part of the same criminal networks that are involved in drugs, weapons and human trafficking. While the impacts on wildlife populations – including elephants, tigers, and fish species – are widely known, the effects on human livelihoods, community integrity, income-generating jobs, sustainable development, and national economies are equally pervasive.
By Katarzyna Nowak
It’s entirely possible, even likely, that we humans will not coexist very much longer with ancient, thick-skinned megafauna weighing thousands of pounds. How to save them is a matter of ever greater urgency—and dispute.
Daniel Stiles, a member of the IUCN/SSC African Elephant Specialist Group, discusses whether there should be a legal trade in elephant ivory, and proposes elements that could be included in a legal trade. The outcome, he believes, will be a significant reduction of elephant killing for ivory.
While positive steps have been taken by governments to protect elephants and their ecosystems, private hunting companies are working hard to undermine the potential gains.