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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 [...]

What Is The Purpose Of Zoos?

By |2021-12-22T13:17:51+11:00December 22nd, 2021|Blog|

What is the purpose of zoos? And, are they fulfilling their primary objective? I have been mulling over these questions for several years now. The first ‘modern’ zoo opened in Paris in 1793. The idea quickly spread to cities throughout Europe and beyond. The question which I have found myself reflecting on more-and-more, after reading the IPBES report into the extinction crisis is, “Given zoos have had over 200 years to enlighten us to the importance of non-human animals, how come so few people care about wildlife and the natural world?” In this task, zoos have obviously failed, as it is our purchasing behaviour that is driving the extinction crisis. The May 2019 IPBES report into global biodiversity [...]

It’s Time To Talk About Bloodlust

By |2021-12-21T09:48:11+11:00December 20th, 2021|Blog|

Apex predators and iconic species decimated by a handful of men who can’t control their urge to kill. It is far too easy to find examples of bloodlust. Spanish trophy hunter, Marcial Gómez Sequeira, who said in a news article, “Three years ago I tried to calculate the time I have spent hunting. I worked out that I had been shooting for 24 hours a day over the course of 11 years and three months of my life. Firing bullets non-stop.” Wisconsin hunters killing 216 wolves in less than 60 hours, exceeding the state quota of 119 and prompting Wisconsin to end a one-week hunt four days early. Wildlife killing competitions, where the level of slaughter is too [...]

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