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 |2022-10-08T20:03:06+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 [...]

A Christmas Gift For Wildlife

By |2021-12-21T07:01:17+11:00December 17th, 2021|Blog, WGFW|

There is no more important time to think about wildlife than at the time of year focused on consumption. Unsustainable consumption is a key driver of biodiversity loss. And while I’m not trying to be the Grinch or Ebenezer Scrooge this Christmas, why not add the gift of a donation for wildlife to your Christmas list? A small donation of a Christmas Gift For Wildlife would be very welcome. And research shows it is needed now more than ever. In the UK, Britain’s top earners are giving less to charity while their incomes continue to rise, donations falling 20% between 2012 to 2019, resulting in a growing ‘generosity gap’. Gus O’Donnell, who led the research [...]

(Re)Wilding – It’s Grand!

By |2021-11-01T09:21:03+11:00October 31st, 2021|Blog|

Not Dealing With Climate Change Is Dumb, Not Dealing With Biodiversity Loss Is Even Dumber.  In watching the run up to CoP26, what has been very apparent is the pressure put on world leaders to attend. Together with the host, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the other world leaders confirmed as going include Prime Minister Mario Draghi (Italy), President Joe Biden (United States), First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Scotland), Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (Canada), President Emmanuel Macron (France), President Nana Akufo-Addo (Ghana), President Alberto Fernandez (Argentina), Prime Minister Naftali Bennett (Israel), President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (Turkey), Prime Minister Stefan Löfven (Sweden), President Guy Parmelin (Switzerland), President Muhammadu Buhari (Nigeria), President Ivan Duque (Colombia), Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Australia). [...]

The Map Of Shame

By |2022-11-18T07:28:25+11:00October 8th, 2021|Blog|

A map went up on the CITES website recently; it shows which of the 183 CITES signatory parties have some form of electronic permitting already in place (14 signatories, colour amber) and how many parties are developing/planning an electronic CITES permit system (30 parties, colour green). Maybe the first thing to mention is, why would CITES invert the normal project management ‘traffic light colour’ convention, making amber ‘implemented’ and green ‘in progress’. Cynically, I would say that at a glance this makes the project’s progress look better than it truly is. The map shows there has been a small increase in the number of countries who have upgraded their permit system, compared to when we [...]

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