The daily dose of bad news … about poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes …
in the spotlight today ……………………
PM+: EU must take action to close ivory trade loopholes. extract: In 2011 Belgium issued just eight certificates for raw ivory. The following year that increased to 18. 2013 saw a huge jump to 97 and 2014 was higher again with 128 permits issued.
"Many of the world’s poorest countries have been doing their utmost to protect lions, tigers, elephants, rhinos and other iconic species. It is about time that the EU chipped in and did its own part" (NA COMMENT: Are the Belgium CITES authorities helping along the wildlife trade? And, there are plenty of EU bureaucrats (fat cats) who see this newsletter) https://www.theparliamentmagazine.eu/articles/partner_article/pm-eu-must-take-action-close-ivory-trade-loopholes
CITES IS A DISASTER FOR WILDLIFE – ISN’T IT?
THE MAFIA WOULD MAKE A BETTER JOB
OF ENFORCING THE CONVENTION, WOULDN’T THEY?
No 356 Wildlife Trade News 14th March 2015
CITES National Ivory Action Plans. EXTRACT: “Parties of ‘primary concern’ have not been directed by any recommendation of the Standing Committee to make their national ivory action plans public. The Secretariat will only make the national ivory action plans of Parties of ‘primary concern’ public where requested to do so by these Parties.” (NA COMMENT: WHY THE SECRECY? So the plans cannot be challenged and perhaps proved to be largely fictitious? SHAME ON CITES – WHAT ARE THEY TRYING TO HIDE? Why would anyone trust or respect secret reports written by officials who have everything to gain by submitting data the Standing Committee ‘wants’ to see and thus avoid sanctions. IT ALL STINKS OF A COVER UP– DOESN’T IT? http://www.cites.org/eng/niaps
CITES ‘NEWS’: (NA COMMENT: Can you find any news reports critical of China on this page? http://www.cites.org/eng/news/cuttings/index.php There have been dozens in the media recently but the secretariat sees to it none make it onto their pro-China web site. WHY MIGHT THAT BE? Countries who do get a critical mention on this web site might wonder why they are being exposed when the worst country by a big margin is protected from criticism. is it fair? Is it ethical? Is it favouritism? Is it any wonder China is decimating the worlds wildlife and forests?)
Ivory Wars – Right Here in the United States http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2015/03/ivory-wars-in-united-states.html
Ivory traffickers assault the police in Congo (NA comment: Read this in the context of the newly presented CITES Congo Ivory (In-)Action Plan above.
Recidivist ivory traffickers arrested. GABON
extract: This latest arrest realized by the JP in Libreville shows that the capital is more than ever the hub of the ivory trade in Gabon. Unless the political-legal powers decide to castigate and punish adequately those crimes, the fight against wildlife crime will never take place. http://en.gabonews.com/en/news/environment/article/recidivist-ivory-traffickers-arrested
Empty the Cages! Photos Show the Suffering of 80 Wild-Caught Baby Elephants in Zimbabwe.
SHAME ON CITES CHINA
extract: If these elephants appear stressed and alarmed in this holding facility, then we can only imagine the future distress they will experience in zoos. There is no questioning that this is not the sort of life that any animal deserves.http://www.onegreenplanet.org/news/photos-show-the-suffering-of-wild-caught-baby-elephants-in-zimbabwe/
Africa Needs Collective Approach to China. extract: The rapid escalation of wildlife poaching (primarily rhinos and elephants, but also lions, pangolins and abalone) and the flow of illegal wildlife products to China have raised alarm in Africa. http://allafrica.com/stories/201503131062.html
Conservationists to meet in Kasane (NA comment: Will the cash-cow gravy train never stop?) http://www.thevoicebw.com/2015/03/13/conservasionists-to-meet-in-kasane/
Logging still rampant in Gua Musang. MALAYSIA
Read more at: http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/logging-still-rampant-gua-musang-55588?cp
Money Logging. SARAWAK / MALAYSIA (NA COMMENT:This illegal logging was rampant and common knowledge across the world. So why have CITES never took action against Malaysia? Could the answer be; CITES is a club which looks after its own while paying lip service to the convention?)
Tech-savvgy youth the biggest players in illegal wildlife trade. MALAYSIA http://news.asiaone.com/news/malaysia/tech-savvgy-youth-biggest-players-illegal-wildlife-trade
Thai authorities order release of gorilla after 20 years caged in Bangkok mall zoo (NA COMMENT: 5 floors on top of a department store in Bangkok – a living hell for the wildlife and there is not a hope in hell they will or even should be moved to the commercial sales-lucrative ground floor.)
Spare a thought for the orangutans imprisoned there as well. All 7 or 8 of them. Yes that’s an orangutan hiding beneath a sack in its concrete tomb. WILL GRASP HELP THEM? THEY HAVEN’T LIFTED A FINGER TO DO SO YET. photos below: Nature Alert Feb 2015
Bears get the same abuse. It’s horrific – the stuff of nightmares.
Crisis threatens Orang Rimba’s traditional way of life. INDONESIA – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/14/crisis-threatens-orang-rimba-s-traditional-way-life.html#sthash.TyqHSEVe.dpuf
Deforestation in Myanmar threatens biodiversity and communities. As Myanmar opens for business, a new report has found forest conversion for commercial agriculture is spreading at an alarming rate with devastating results for the country’s ethnic minorities and biodiversity.
Kenya: Another Jumbo Killed in Tsavo http://allafrica.com/stories/201503131009.html
Poachers slaughter white rhinos at Ol Jogi Wildlife Conservancy. (NA comment: Blame CITES officials lack of guts and enforcement.)http://www.coastweek.com/3811-Poachers-kill-two-white-rhinos-at-Ol-Jogi-Wildlife-Conservancy.htm
TAKE A LOOK AT AN ‘INDUSTRY’ CONDONED BY OFFICIALS IN VIETNAM, CHINA AND LAOS. ALL OF WHOM HAVE SOMEHOW MANAGED TO ESCAPE CITES SANCTIONS FOR MANY YEARS – WHICH IS WHY THINGS HAVE GONE FROM BAD TO WORSE – ISN’T IT?VIETNAM SHOWS NO INTEREST IN ARRESTING RHINO HORN KINGPIN DEALER…..WHY WOULD THEY?
THIS SLAUGHTER IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE PRO-CHINA CITES CONVENTION IS NOT ENFORCED – ISN’T IT?
Feature: Chinese wildlife conservationist pursues childhood dream in Africa http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/xinhua-news-agency/150313/feature-chinese-wildlife-conservationist-pursues-childhood-d
Kenya: Slaughter of Jumbos is a National Disgrace. (NA comment: No amount of conferences are saving elephants, or tigers, or rhinos, or …… – are they?) http://allafrica.com/stories/201503130628.html
ZAWA abolished http://www.lusakatimes.com/2015/03/13/zawa-abolished/
Wild elephants’ future looks bleak. THAILAND http://news.thaivisa.com/thailand/wild-elephants-future-looks-bleak/38678/
Sabah rural students join fight against wildlife poaching http://www.thestar.com.my/News/Nation/2015/03/14/Sabah-rural-students-join-fight-against-wildlife-poaching/
Brazil confirms rising deforestation in the Amazon http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0313-brazil-deforestation.html#ixzz3UKODarCM
Zambia lobbies to sell ivory stockpile http://wildlifenews.co.uk/2015/03/zambia-lobbies-to-sell-ivory-stockpile/
75 Rhinos killed by poachers since 2013. INDIA (NA comment: Make that 76 – see below) http://zeenews.india.com/news/sci-tech/75-rhinos-killed-by-poachers-since-2013_1561156.html
Rhino Killed by Poachers in Kaziranga National Park http://www.outlookindia.com/news/article/Rhino-Killed-by-Poachers-in-Kaziranga-National-Park/885756
Zimbabwe: Elephant Meat Not Served to Mugabe Partygoers http://allafrica.com/stories/201503131442.html
Kenya To Destroy All Ivory Stockpiles By End Of 2015 http://www.coastweek.com/3811-special-report-01.htm
Stay Off Elephants’ Backs to Stop Killing Them http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/03/13/stay-elephants-backs-stop-killing-them
Anti-ivory smuggling campaigns promoted on Thai Elephants Day – See more at: http://www.pattayamail.com/news/anti-ivory-smuggling-campaigns-promoted-on-thai-elephants-day-45629#sthash.3oHUdApl.dpuf
Proposed law could decimate Indonesia’s remaining forests http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0313-indonesia-forests-under-threat.html
Four poachers of wild Loktak birds held http://kanglaonline.com/2015/03/four-poachers-of-wild-loktak-birds-held/
A hunting haven: In South Africa, ranchers are breeding mutant animals http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/international/world-news/a-hunting-haven-in-south-africa-ranchers-are-breeding-mutant-animals/articleshow/46560686.cms
New report calls for better monitoring of international narwhal trade http://www.traffic.org/home/2015/3/13/new-report-calls-for-better-monitoring-of-international-narw.html
Environmental Investigation Agency https://www.facebook.com/environmentalinvestigationagency/posts/10155249982025648:0
China is at a crucial crossroads as it is currently revising four important laws to combat pollution and to save biodiversity. The on-going Wildlife Protection Law revision provides a unique opportunity for the Chinese people to reflect on the priority of this law, which currently promotes breeding and utilising wildlife as a natural resource. It’s really encouraging to read more news in the Chinese media that a number of NPC delegates are actively seeking to improve the law …
China: 36 lawmakers urge speed up of Wildlife Protection Law change
The National People’s Congress deputy, Vice President of Nanchang Aviation University Dr Luo Liansheng, along with 35 NPC deputies have called to speed up the revision process of the Wildlife Protection Law this year.
During the workshop “Animals and Legislation: Aita Foundation Press Club” on March 11, Dr Luo Liansheng claimed: “NPC Standing Committee has given greater attention to the revision of The Wildlife Protection Law. It is planned to be completed by the end of this year.”
The current Wildlife Protection Law was enacted in 1989. Dr Luo has called for revision of the law for the past three years. Meanwhile, the desire to speed up the law revision process has grown in society as a whole.
The importance of the resources and services provided by the natural world, and the animals and plants within it, cannot be overstated as they provide the foundations for development for human society. China has more than 4,440 species of vertebrates, around 10 per cent of world’s known vertebrate species; 476 out of the 4440 vertebrate species and roughly two-thirds of the amphibians found within China are endemic to China. Species such as pandas, golden snub-nosed monkeys, crested Ibis, South China Tigers, Tibetan antelopes, Chinese white dolphins and Chinese alligators.
Luo stated that, besides the revision in 2004 on individual articles, the Wildlife Protection Law has not been amended as a whole. The legislation does not reflect the current economic and cultural development of China.
Currently, the State Forestry Administration, Ministry of Environmental Protection and Ministry of Agriculture among other departments collectively manage wildlife protection. This multi-departmental management means that it is unclear who is responsible for the overall protection of wildlife or who is responsible for certain aspects of wildlife protection. Combined with this is the fact that enforcement costs are very high while the risks to those involved in illegal activities concerning wildlife are low. Provisions for wildlife breeding and consumption also remain unclear.
Luo believes under that the current Wildlife Protection Law only “precious and endangered species” are taken into consideration as objectives for protection, which is a very narrow viewpoint and runs against the idea of biodiversity conservation and eco-balance. The ambiguous term “rational use” turns wildlife, and specifically certain species, into a “resource” to be used rather than protected.
The researcher of the Institute of Law, part of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, Associate Director of Jurisprudence Office Dr He Hairen asserted that the revised Wildlife Protection Law should withdraw or strictly restrict the use of the term “rational use”, which can be used as a loophole by interested parties, such as Guizhentang, a traditional Chinese medicine company which extracts bear bile.
The NPC deputy, chairman of Anhui Tianfang Tea Group Ltd, Zheng Xiaochang, commented during the workshop that “recent dog and cat sales for consumption have grown in Guangdong and Guangxi, which has the potential to increase risks to food safety, which will affect the general public.”
Zheng also explained: “Under Chinese current legislation, only wildlife is protected but there is no legislation on protecting domesticated animals. The Animal Protection Law should also be considered, which has the potential to prohibit commercial transportation of live cats and dogs, close the illegal markets and slaughtering houses for the selling and processing of dog and cat meat and prevent dog and cat meat from becoming a commercial industry.”
An Xiang, the president of Beijing Dexiang Law Firm, commented on the workshop: “In the context of the Constitution, protection of wildlife is the objective; however, in the context of the Wildife Protection Law, wildlife becomes a resource which can be rationally utilised. It surpasses the power of the Constitution by definition.”
An also pointed out that the current system of wildlife domestication and breeding licences can be a “whitewashing” process for the illegal businesses.
Zhang Yue, the director of Beijign Aita Animal Protection Foundation, explained: “The current Wildife Protection Law provides legitimacy for “rational use ” of wildlife as a resource. Due to this loophole, illicit wildlife trade is openly in operation under legal cover.
Luo suggested the revised Wildlife Protection Law should be clear about its purpose: “To protect wildlife and the habitats thereof; to conserve the biodiversity and restore eco-balance; to withdraw the provisions contain the term ‘use’ or similar expressions; to strictly distinguish commercial breeding from rescuing and breeding with conservational purpose; to avoid inter-departmental interest conflicts and suggest the forestry police to be managed under Ministry of Police Security.”