Guesstimations and ‘Encouraging’ Action – This Is No Way To Protect Wildlife

By |2022-09-29T17:18:36+10:00September 29th, 2022|Blog|

The conservation sector needs to stop calling what are effectively ‘guesstimations’ an evidence-based approach. After decades of trade in endangered species there is still no reliable information on what constitutes a sustainable offtake. Even though this trillion-dollar trade has made mindboggling profits for some of the wealthiest companies and people, in comparison only a tiny amount of funding has been available over the years to assess the impact of the legal trade on the population decline of wild species. There are no trade analytics, no trade risk flags. The data collected are next to useless, as we have demonstrated many times already. And here we go again, this time for hippos. The months leading up to a CITES [...]

Introducing LynnJohnson.News

By |2022-09-12T06:45:31+10:00September 11th, 2022|Blog|

One of Einstein’s famous quotes was “You Don’t Have to Know Everything. You Just Have to Know Where to Find It.”. When you want to know about the very real risks associated with the extinction crisis where do you turn? How do to you find the facts and the solutions, some of which have been ignored for years and even decades? One thing is clear, we don’t have that much time left to change our relationship with the natural world, 2030 is seen as a tipping point. The science is clear, and we have run out of time for procrastination. So, what are you willing to change about how you behave in the countdown to 2030? [...]

CITES Epic Failure: The Legal Trade Of The Siamese Crocodile

By |2022-07-07T10:33:40+10:00July 1st, 2022|Blog|

If there is one species that shows CITES doesn’t work in its current form it’s the Siamese Crocodile. These crocodiles were once widespread throughout much of mainland Southeast Asia. From the 1950s commercial hunting for skins and then the collection of animals to stock crocodile farms, again to supply the international skin trade, means the species has disappeared from 99% of its former range. CITES was set up to protect the likes of the Siamese Crocodile, which has been listed on CITES Appendix I since the convention came into force in 1975. In 1992 the IUCN declared the Siamese Crocodile to be effectively extinct in the wild. It is estimated that there are fewer than 1000 adult individuals [...]

Yet ‘Another’ One-Off Ivory Sale Requested – Why It Shouldn’t Be Allowed

By |2022-06-08T07:44:23+10:00June 5th, 2022|Blog|

Zimbabwe has indicated that it is planning to present a case to CITES, CoP19 in Panama later this year, to allow (another) one-off sale of its ivory stockpile. The country is also rallying its allies (Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia) to support the push to open up the ivory trade. This, together with a recent image of Japan’s ambassador to Zimbabwe photographed holding a large elephant tusk in Harare, has understandably caused concern for those opposed to such one-off sales. Nature Needs More believes that CITES should be a conservation-based convention, where the precautionary principle is used (in the form of a reverse listing process) as a basis for making any decisions about the legal trade. [...]

The Long Read: Fishing Industry Lobbies Against CITES Modernisation – Here’s Why

By |2022-05-18T20:46:43+10:00May 17th, 2022|Blog|

Over the last two years, Nature Needs More has continued to meet with politicians and government agencies in our push for modernising CITES. During this time, it has become clear that the fishing industry is a key obstructionist to the urgent need to modernise the regulator of the global trade in endangered species. So, why is this the case? The solution Nature Needs More proposes to modernise the global regulator would expand CITES remit over the fishing industry (and forestry) and currently this industry and the global fishery management authorities have too much power. Most recently, in March 2022, this was highlighted with the collapse of negotiations on the treaty to protect the high seas [...]

Greenwashing: Don’t Aid ‘False Solutions’ And Undermine Real Progress

By |2022-04-20T08:09:52+10:00April 19th, 2022|Blog|

It is time for conservation organisations to stop lending their brands to industry greenwashing.   There are many examples of this, but since it is in the news, let’s focus on the illegal online trade in endangered species. Launched in 2018, the Coalition to End Wildlife Trafficking Online has three conservation organisations, WWF, TRAFFIC and IFAW, who are stated to be the convenors of the coalition. The group includes Facebook (Meta), Google, ebay, Etsy, Instagram, Microsoft, TikTok, Alibaba and many more: Early after its launch, the coalition stated its goal was to cut the illegal online trade by 80% by 2020. Their 2021 progress report states that, as a group, they removed 11 million posts and [...]

Garbage In – Garbage Out: But The New CITES Wildlife TradeView Website Isn’t Totally Useless.

By |2022-03-16T18:03:40+11:00March 15th, 2022|Blog|

If you have been following the recent CITES Standing Committee meeting (held in Lyon, France. 07 - 11 March 2022) you may have noticed the launch of a new website, CITES Wildlife TradeView. Anyone who has tried to penetrate the CITES trade database, who doesn’t use the system regularly as a part of their research or job, will know that it isn’t the most transparent trade data source to navigate around. In 2019, Nature Needs More even asked a group of trade analytics experts to navigate the CITES trade database. So what was their feedback? - That the CITES trade database was the worst designed and most impenetrable trade data source they have ever come across. The new [...]

The Right To Destroy – Needs To Be Stopped

By |2022-02-06T14:11:56+11:00February 6th, 2022|Blog|

The scale of biodiversity loss over recent decades is a stark warning that, worldwide, we must deal with the Right to Destroy, a ‘right’ which is implicit in private property law. In pretty much all legal systems today it is implicitly assumed that you have the right to ‘destroy’ (in both the sense of consume or demolish) anything that you own. In most jurisdictions you are free to demolish your house if you wish (but not to build a new one), even though that destroys capital and a public good (housing). The underlying assumption is that you won’t do this because it’s ‘irrational’ to do so. Our legal systems extend this right to nature with very [...]

Is The Wildlife Trade Helping The Poor Or The Rich?

By |2022-01-13T07:09:07+11:00January 12th, 2022|Blog|

Much has been made about the trade in endangered species supporting the livelihoods of poor communities living adjacent to key wildlife populations. Poverty alleviation is used by many players, who are committed to maintaining the legal trade, as the primary reason to justify their stance. But is this just another example of perception management? Who really benefits from the trade that is driving the extinction crisis? Research, published in 2021, to clarify just who the biggest exporters and importers of wild species are, demonstrated that some of the richest countries in the world are the key benefactors of this trade, not developing nations. The research split the trade into a number of categories: [...]

Why Would Conservation Legitimise Strategies Used By Wildlife Traffickers?

By |2021-12-28T15:31:33+11:00December 28th, 2021|Blog|

In April 2016, I wrote an article titled, Want To Know Why Conservation Is Failing? Read On…. In the article, I spoke about the negative implications of the specialist-expert mindset. Over decades, people working in conservation (and beyond) have been supported to hone their specialist expertise through research but the professional development needed to evolve a more strategic way of thinking is lacking in the sector. Yet specialists rarely make good problem solvers when dealing with complexity. Too many become perfectionists in their field but are unable to make links, unable to consider the consequences of their proposed solutions outside their immediate field of expertise. In short, they do depth but don’t exhibit a breadth of perspective. To [...]

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