No 369 Wildlife Trade News 28th March 2015

Yes, another daily dose of bad news about
poaching, wildlife and environmental crimes

under the spotlight today ……………………

China main reason Africa is losing war to stop wipe-out of rhinos and elephants (Published in China’s mainstream media but will never be seen on the pro-China CITES secretariat web site, will it? Are you suspicious about such regular omissions? Should the secretariat move its offices to Beijing or Shanghai to be closer to its masters?) http://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/article/1748666/china-main-reason-africa-losing-war-stop-wipe-out-rhinos-and-elephants

Elephant Poaching Rate Unchanged—and Still Devastating. (NA comment: Blame China, USA, Thailand and an impotent CITES)

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1300629-elephant-poaching-rate-unchanged-and-still-devastating/?photo=2

No 369 Wildlife Trade News 28th March 2015

The case of the 15 missing tigers: Ranthambore National Park authorities believe poaching could be the reason

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3015458/15-Ranthambore-tigers-vanish-Park-authorities-believe-poaching-reason.html

FINAL STATEMENT OF THE KASANE CONFERENCE ON THE ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE (NA COMMENT: MORE HOT AIR FROM BLOATED OFFICIALS. NOT A SINGLE SPECIFIC COMMITTMENT BY WHICH ANYONE CAN BE MEASURED AND HELD ACCOUNTABLE.)

(i) We, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations*, gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015, recognising the detrimental economic, security, social, and environmental implications of the illegal trade in wildlife, make the following political commitment and call upon the international community to act together to bring this to an end.

(ii) In doing so the Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations which adopted the London Declaration on the Illegal Wildlife Trade reaffirm our determination to implement the commitments made in that Declaration. We welcome the important action already being taken by Governments and others in implementing the actions decided at the London Conference.

(iii) We welcome the action taken by Governments to implement their obligations and commitments under international agreements, including under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).

(iv) We also welcome the convening of a number of other high-level events and the commitments to combat the illegal wildlife trade made at them. The London Conference and these events have generated significant momentum at international, regional and national level to enhance efforts to combat the illegal wildlife trade more effectively, to raise the profile of illegal wildlife trade and to secure political support for these efforts.

(v) The need for decisive and urgent action to tackle the trafficking of endangered fauna and flora remains greater than ever. Despite efforts to date for many species, the illegal trade, and the poaching which fuels it, is an ongoing and growing problem. To this end we, the Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations which adopted the London Declaration and are represented in Kasane, recognise the progress made since the London Conference and welcome those Governments that are newly participating in the Kasane Conference. All participants commit to provide the political leadership and practical support needed to find a lasting solution to the illegal wildlife trade and decide to take the following actions.

ACTIONS
A. ERADICATING THE MARKET FOR ILLEGAL WILDLIFE PRODUCTS

In the London Conference Declaration, it was recognised that the illegal wildlife trade can only be effectively tackled if we eradicate both the demand for and supply of illegal wildlife products wherever in the world this occurs. To this end we, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015 commit ourselves, and call upon the international community, to take the following action, to:

1. Strengthen our partnerships with business and others, and through regional collaboration agreements as appropriate, to reduce the demand and supply sides for illegal wildlife products. Noting, for example, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Ministerial Statement welcoming cooperative activities such as the APEC Capacity Building Workshop on Reduction of Demand for Illegally Traded Wildlife held in Hanoi in October 2014; we encourage similar regional and multilateral partnerships to share expertise and knowledge. We welcome action at both national and regional levels to tighten existing international controls on the import and export of illegal wildlife products, particularly ivory.

2. Conduct and/or support research to improve understanding of market drivers, including monitoring the effectiveness of demand reduction strategies and collating a portfolio of demand reduction good practice. This research should contribute to the evidence and tools needed by Governments and others to strengthen action to reduce demand for illegal wildlife products.

3. Strengthen, and if necessary establish, partnerships among source, transit and destination countries to combat the illegal wildlife trade along its entire chain.

B. ENSURING EFFECTIVE LEGAL FRAMEWORKS AND DETERRENTS
In the London Conference Declaration, countries committed themselves and called upon the international community to address the illegal wildlife trade by adopting or amending legislation, as necessary, to ensure that criminal offences such as poaching and wildlife trafficking are serious crimes, within the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime. We recognised that to curb the illegal wildlife trade it is important to ensure that the criminals involved, in particular those ‘kingpins’ who control the trade, are prosecuted and penalised to provide an effective deterrent. To this end we, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015 reaffirm our zero tolerance towards corruption and we commit ourselves, and call upon the international community, to take the following action, to:

4. Review and amend national legislation as necessary and appropriate so that offences connected to the illegal wildlife trade are treated as "predicate offences", as defined in the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime, for the purposes of domestic money laundering offences, and are actionable under domestic proceeds of crime legislation. We will adopt, as far as possible, measures authorising both investigations and prosecutions to enable the confiscation of proceeds of crime derived from illegal wildlife trade offences, to ensure that criminals involved in the illegal wildlife trade do not benefit from the proceeds of their crimes. We will pursue serious and organised criminal networks involved in the illegal wildlife trade. With regard to the detection of money laundering and other financial crime in connection with the illegal wildlife trade, we will work with the Financial Action Task Force, its FATF-Style Regional Bodies, and other multilateral organisations dealing with law enforcement and financial crimes, including asset recovery networks, to put the issue of financial crime related to the illegal wildlife trade on their agendas.

5. Ensure that relevant prosecutors, judges, Financial Intelligence Units, and authorities engaged in law enforcement, have the resources, knowledge and capacity effectively to investigate and prosecute financial crimes associated with wildlife crime. We will increase international and regional cooperation to ensure an enhanced focus on financial crime investigations and prosecutions for wildlife crime.
C. STRENGTHENING LAW ENFORCEMENT

In the London Conference Declaration, it was acknowledged that successfully tackling the illegal wildlife trade demands a strong and co‐ordinated enforcement response, at the site, community, national and international levels, and in source, transit and destination countries, using the fullest capacity of institutions and available tools and techniques. To this end we, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015, commit ourselves, and call upon the international community, to take the following action, to:

6. Strengthen the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) to ensure that ICCWC takes a leading role in providing coordinated global support to the law enforcement community, including enhancing enforcement capacities at national, regional and international levels. Working with other organisations as appropriate, ICCWC should promote increased sharing of best practice and lessons learned, facilitate the exchange of information and intelligence, and foster cooperation, including, among others, through regional wildlife enforcement networks.

7. Support the strengthening and, if necessary, the establishment of regional wildlife enforcement networks, by working to secure political will and resources to develop and enable them to become fully operational, and by ICCWC taking a leading role in promoting cooperation across the network of regional wildlife enforcement networks.

8. Engage with the transport industry within our countries to raise awareness of the role they can play. We welcome the creation of an international Task Force on the transport industry and the illegal wildlife trade, and support the development and implementation of industry-wide protocols and/or guidelines by the logistics and transportation sector on strengthening due diligence and other measures to eliminate the illegal trade in wildlife. We look forward to further consultation in due course on the emerging findings of the Task Force.

9. Support existing, and, if necessary, the establishment of new, global and regional networks of prosecutors responsible for prosecuting offences involving organised crime as it relates to the illegal wildlife trade to raise awareness and further strengthen the investigation and prosecution of illegal wildlife trade by fostering international and regional cooperation amongst these prosecutors.

D. SUSTAINABLE LIVELIHOODS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

In the London Conference Declaration, it was acknowledged that the illegal wildlife trade is a major barrier to sustainable, inclusive and balanced economic development. The illegal wildlife trade damages ecosystems, undermines good governance and the rule of law, threatens security, and reduces current and future revenue from economic activities such as wildlife‐based tourism and sustainable utilisation. Sustainable livelihoods are most likely to be secured with the engagement of relevant community groups and the appropriate retention of benefits from wildlife for local people. The active engagement of local people is also key to effective monitoring and law enforcement. To this end we, the representatives of Governments and Regional Economic Integration Organisations gathered in Kasane on 25 March 2015, commit ourselves and call upon the international community to take the following action, to:

10. Promote the retention of benefits from wildlife resources by local people where they have traditional and/or legal rights over these resources. We will strengthen policy and legislative frameworks needed to achieve this, reinforce the voice of local people as key stakeholders and implement measures which balance the need to tackle the illegal wildlife trade with the needs of communities, including the sustainable use of wildlife.

11. Support work done in countries to address the challenges that people, in particular rural populations, can face in living and coexisting with wildlife, with the goal of building conservation constituencies and promoting sustainable development.

12. Establish, facilitate and support information-sharing mechanisms, within country, regionally, and internationally, designed with, for and targeted at local people and practitioners, to develop knowledge, expertise and best practice in practical experience of involving local people in managing wildlife resources, and in action to tackle the illegal wildlife trade.
13. Support work by countries and intergovernmental organisations, as well as non-governmental organisations, that seeks to identify the situations where, and the mechanisms by which, actions at the local level, including with community groups, can reduce the illegal wildlife trade.

E. THE WAY FORWARD

14. We call upon the UN General Assembly to address effectively the issue of the illegal wildlife trade at its sixty-ninth session. We welcome the efforts of the Group of Friends on “Poaching and Illicit Wildlife Trafficking” to develop an ambitious draft General Assembly resolution and encourage them to consult as widely as possible.

15. We welcome the offer of Vietnam to host a third high-level conference in late 2016 to review progress and further strengthen our action. We also welcome the offer of Botswana to host the following conference.

*Appendix A The following countries and Regional Economic Integration Organisations participated in the Kasane Conference on the Illegal Wildlife Trade.

Republic of Angola
Commonwealth of Australia
Republic of Austria
People’s Republic of Bangladesh
Kingdom of Belgium
Republic of Botswana
Republic of Cameroon
Canada
People’s Republic of China
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
French Republic
Gabonese Republic
Federal Republic of Germany
Republic of Indonesia
Japan
Republic of Kenya
Republic of Malawi
Republic of Mozambique
Republic of Namibia
Kingdom of the Netherlands
Russian Federation
Republic of South Africa
Switzerland
United Republic of Tanzania
United Arab Emirates
Republic of Uganda
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
United States of America
Socialist Republic of Vietnam
Republic of Zambia
Republic of Zimbabwe
European Union NOTE; THAILAND DID NOT ATTEND AND THEREFORE DID NOT SIGN UP TO THIS DECLARATION. REMEMBER THE TORTOSIE TRADE IN THAILAND WE FEATURED A FEW DAYS AGO? IS THAILAND NOT COMMITTED TO STOPPING IT? WHICH WOULD EXPLAIN WHY THEY LEAVE THE SHOPS OPEN AND THE OWNERS FREE TO TRADE ILLEGALLY?

492 tortoises seized at Trichy airport, 5 arrested. INDIA. EXTRACT: Five passengers, who were about to board a flight to Bangkok …… http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/City/Trichy/492-tortoises-seized-at-Trichy-airport-5-arrested/articleshow/46682975.cms

FEBRUARY 2015: ILLEGAL TORTOISES (STILL) OPENLY FOR SALE IN NOTORIOUS BANGKOK MARKET. The illegal wildlife and especially tortoises on sale at the Chatuchak market (next door to ASEAN-WEN) have been reported on more times than we can remember…..so let’s say dozens. Despite that and despite the fact this shop has a very suspicious “NO CAMERAS/PHOTOS” on its shop window, anyone can still buy illegal wildlife in this hell-hole of a market. Investigators will return soon to see if this current report is acted upon and the shop (exclusively tortoises) is closed down. Watch this space. The authorities can’t say they have not been told/warned – numerous times, can they?

HOW WILL THE TRADE EVER STOP WHILE TORTOISE CAN STILL BE FOUND OPENLY ON SALE IN BANGKOK – NEXT DOOR TO THE ASEAN-WEN OFFICES?

WHAT MUST THE INDIAN WILDLIFE AUTHORITIES THINK OF THE ABOVE?

CITES ISN’T WORKING – IS IT?

These three men are very influential over which countries are punished, or not, by CITES.

No one, least of all us, is asking these men to do more than ensure the CITES Convention is enforced – which is what they are paid very well to do.

Achim Steiner UNEP John Scanlon CITES Oystein Storkersen CITES

Executive Director Secretary General Chairman: Standing Committee

HOW MUCH LONGER BEFORE CITES PUNISHES CHINA

FOR THESE ATROCITIES?

No hurdle to hunting – and hanging – endangered rhino EXTRACT: An international crackdown stopped poaching for a while, but it resumed several years ago when black-market prices for rhino horn in China and Vietnam, where it is valued as ornaments and traditional medicine, reached $45,000 per pound. http://www.iol.co.za/scitech/science/environment/no-hurdle-to-hunting-and-hanging-endangered-rhino-1.1837809#.VRVPAeHJIsc

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC: Elephant Calves Await Fate as Africa Seeks to Save Species (SHAME ON CHINA, ZIMBABWE AND CITES)

This young elephant, separated from its mother in Hwange National Park, is one of scores being held there, possibly waiting to be shipped abroad or moved elsewhere in Zimbabwe.Photograph Courtesy of Elephants DC http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/150327-elephants-wildlife-trade-botswana-zimbabwe-poaching/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_tw20150327news-wildelecon&utm_campaign=Content&sf8257505=1

(SHAME ON CHINA, ZIMBABWE AND CITES)

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/support-restoration-appendix-i-protection-african-elephants-condemn-zimbabwes-live-elephant-captures-exports

Demand for exotic animals pushing endangered species to early extinction. MALAYSIA
Read more at: http://english.astroawani.com/malaysia-news/demand-exotic-animals-pushing-endangered-species-early-extinction-56549?cp

Maximum jail for smuggling pangolins. SABAH/MALAYSIA http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/27/maximum-jail-for-smuggling-pangolins/

Thank you CJ for speaking up on Sabah’s wildlife

Correctly, he says, the criminal element is wiping out Sabah’s precious wildlife on which much of the economy depends.

From: Nature Alert via e-mail

After years of shouting from the treetops about Sabah’s wildlife being killed off while government officials stand and watch, I was delighted to read today of a most unexpected ally who has also spoken out publicly on this issue.

No less than Sabah’s Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, has dropped a virtual bomb on the Sabah Wildlife Department (SWD). Better late than never and nothing less would ever shake up SWD from its malaise.

In today’s Sabah Express, Malanjum blasted all the “talk” about wildlife protection while seeing none in practice. He could not be more critical or more right. Unlike many, he should be recognised as a man unafraid to speak the truth on wildlife concerns.

Correctly, he says, the criminal element is wiping out Sabah’s precious wildlife on which much of the economy depends.

How much longer do we have to wait to see the Sabah Wildlife Department and its all-talk minister Masidi Manjun take wildlife protection seriously? Will it happen soon enough to save the rhinos, elephants, tigers and orangutans from being exterminated in Sabah? What do you think?

Across the border in Sarawak we see real and strong leadership from its Chief Minister concerning environmental issues. In Sabah we see and hear nothing but “talk”. The only way to judge officials is by results, not good intentions. In this respect Sabah wildlife and people have been let down for many years and badly so.

So, it’s a pat on the back for Chief Justice Malanjum; boos and hisses for Sabah’s Wildlife Department.

http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/opinion/letters/2015/03/27/thank-you-cj-for-speaking-up-on-sabahs-wildlife/

Over 1,000 mangrove poles seized in raid on charcoal kiln in Telaga Air. (NA comment: More good work in Sarawak)
Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2015/03/28/over-1000-mangrove-poles-seized-in-raid-on-charcoal-kiln-in-telaga-air/#ixzz3VewjCgnZ

Dubai Crown Prince imports 7 elephants from Zimbabwe Posted on March 25, 2015 In an update to an earlier news post regarding the capture of baby elephants in Zimbabwe for sale to the UAE, China and possibly other countries, PEGAS learned recently during a visit to the UAE that Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was the importer of the 7 elephants that the UAE reported to the media. http://freetheapes.org/2015/03/25/dubai-crown-prince-imports-7-elephants-from-zimbabwe/

Six-month delay could condemn protected Halong bears. VIETNAM

EXTRACT: The Vietnamese Prime Minister’s office has potentially condemned the surviving 19 moon bears in Halong City to death, by delaying any potential rescue by up to six months. https://www.animalsasia.org/intl/media/news/news-archive/six-month-delay-could-condemn-protected-halong-bears.html

Differences over turtle mortality data obstacle to conservation efforts. PAKISTAN http://www.dawn.com/news/1171834/differences-over-turtle-mortality-data-obstacle-to-conservation-efforts

SHC directs centre, provincial govts to curb smuggling of wildlife species. PAKISTAN

Sindh High Court has ordered the federal and provincial governments to take relevant steps to curb the smuggling of rare wildlife species. PHOTO: PPI http://tribune.com.pk/story/858969/shc-directs-centre-provincial-govts-to-curb-smuggling-of-wildlife-species/

4 Lesser Known Victims of the Illegal Wildlife Trade Who Need Our Help NOW http://www.onegreenplanet.org/animalsandnature/lesser-known-victims-of-the-illegal-wildlife-trade/

UN: Africa faces elephant poaching crisis (NA comment: Time for another conference?) http://www.ibtimes.co.in/un-africa-faces-elephant-poaching-crisis-35990

Baby elephant exploited for drunk tourist rager. THAILAND

http://news.thaivisa.com/thailand/baby-elephant-exploited-for-drunk-tourist-rager/43641/

The Other Guys Seeking Rhino Horns and Elephant Tusks http://blog.humanesociety.org/wayne/2015/03/black-rhino-permits-usfws.html

Kenya: Charcoal Dealers Invade One of Coast’s Key Forests http://allafrica.com/stories/201503270914.html

Burmese Leaders Outed by Global Witness Over Alleged Land Grabs A new report reveals the extent of land grabbing in Myanmar, especially along the border with China. http://thediplomat.com/2015/03/burmese-leaders-outed-by-global-witness-over-alleged-land-grabs/

South Africa: Five Suspects Arrested for Abalone Worth R100 000.00 – Camps Bay http://allafrica.com/stories/201503270695.html

Must We Really Kill Endangered Rhinos and Elephants to Save Them? Researchers say trophy hunting in places like Ethiopia generates desperately needed cash to preserve habitats being destroyed by agriculture. http://www.takepart.com/article/2015/03/27/trophy-hunting-endangered-species-ethiopia

Only five of these rhinos left on the planet

photo: Nature Alert http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/only-five-of-these-rhinos-left-on-the-planet/story-fni0cx12-1227281657485

Prosecutors call in trio in lumber case. TAIWAN http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2015/03/28/2003614600

South Africa: SAIIA Submission to Inquiry On Rhino Horn Trade http://allafrica.com/stories/201503271448.html

African Wildlife Foundation opposes legalization of rhino horn trade http://www.coastweek.com/3813-africa-02.htm

New species of monitor lizards found on the black market. PHILIPPINES http: //news.mongabay.com/2015/0327-buelna-new-lizards-black-market.html

Golf club in a spot for hunting leopards http://www.hindustantimes.com/gurgaon/golf-club-in-a-spot-for-hunting-leopards/article1-1331111.aspx

Plea After Selling Rhino Horns to Irish Traveler. USA http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/03/27/plea-after-selling-rhino-horns-to-irish-traveler.htm

The moving story of 32-year-old chimpanzee Iris. USA http://www.dailymail.co.uk/video/news/video-1170708/The-moving-story-32-year-old-chimpanzee-Iris.html

That’s purr-fect – Pakistani pet lion gives birth to five cubs

In this photograph taken on March 26, 2015, newly born lion cubs nuzzle their mother in their enclosure at a specialliy built mini-zoo in the grounds of wealthy landowner Mahi’s residence in Multan. An animal enthusiast in Pakistan is celebrating a roaring success after his pet lioness Rani gave birth to five healthy cubs. AFP PHOTO / S S MIRZA http://www.aquila-style.com/focus-points/global-snapshots/thats-purr-fect-pakistani-pet-lion-gives-birth-to-five-cubs/97099/

Why palm oil expanded, and what keeps it growing http://news.mongabay.com/2015/0326-shibao-mrn-palm-oil-financing.html#ixzz3Vb6k75ah

Sin City: Illegal wildlife trade in Laos’ Special Economic Zone. VIDEO

A report documenting how the Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (GT SEZ) in Bokeo Province, Laos, has effectively become a hub for trade in illegal wildlife products and parts of endangered species including tigers, elephants, rhinos, bears, pangolins and reptiles. http://ht.ly/KSmLO

Jokowi raises curtain of largest dam construction project in Sumatra – See more at: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2015/03/09/jokowi-raises-curtain-largest-dam-construction-project-sumatra.html#sthash.OdJCgio5.dpuf