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 [...]

Quite Ridiculous: Why Endangered Species Miss Out On QR Code

By |2021-09-22T07:51:25+10:00September 20th, 2021|Blog|

Countries worldwide are easing their COVID lockdowns or outlining the road map to reopening social contact and the economy. All of this is possible because of the humble QR Code, which enables people to demonstrate their vaccine or COVID status. First introduced by Israel, Covid passports go by a variety of names, including COVID Certificate, health pass and green pass. Our smart phone carries our personal QR code, providing proof we are fully vaccinated against Covid, have recovered from the virus, or have recently tested negative. Within the EU for instance, some countries have developed national Covid passes compatible with the European digital Covid certificate, which is designed to facilitate travel [...]

The Art Of Distraction

By |2021-08-18T09:24:42+10:00August 17th, 2021|Blog|

As with the IPBES report published 2 years ago, the recent IPCC report is a stark reminder that we are heading into a much less livable world, not just for humans, but for most living species. With the release of both reports (and the many others that have the same conclusions) we need to be honest that the result is nothing has been actioned. The question is why? As governments, industries and businesses blame each other and wait for the other to do something, this ongoing blame game undermines the collective action needed. Those who should be shouldering the blame have perfected the art of distraction. Like the magician they misdirect the eye and give themselves [...]

18 Months Into A Pandemic – Have We Learnt Anything?

By |2021-07-31T10:13:39+10:00July 29th, 2021|Blog|

For two decades, or more, some of the world’s leading scientists have been telling us to expect a pandemic. They knew that humans are vulnerable because the line between us and exotic animals has long been breached for trade. Too few people were listening. As a result, and with no real monitoring, a trillion-dollar trade in birds, animals and plants flourishes. According to the United Nations, before the pandemic this trade was growing at two to three times the rate of the global economy. The scale of legal, unchecked over-exploitation, which has been going on for decades, means we have walked blindly into the High Risk Zone of Uncertainty, outlined in the Planetary Boundaries model. [...]

New Nature Needs More Report – Modernising CITES – A Blueprint for Better Trade Regulation

By |2021-07-29T08:11:18+10:00June 30th, 2021|Blog|

Out Today: New Nature Needs More Report Modernising CITES – A Blueprint for Better Trade Regulation. The report outlines a comprehensive strategy for regulating the trade in all species of wild flora and fauna. CITES has failed in its stated objective of protecting endangered species from over exploitation from the legal trade, with trade being the primary extinction driver for marine species and the second most important driver for terrestrial and freshwater species. Whilst the lack of funding to enforce CITES provisions has long been known as a key reason for this, blaming the illegal trade is a convenient excuse to ignore the crucial design flaws in the current CITES model. Since the release of our [...]

Will This Decade Bring CITES Signatories Their Kodak Moment?

By |2021-05-18T11:50:41+10:00May 17th, 2021|Blog|

Kodak was founded in 1888 and, during most of the 20th century, it held a dominant position in photographic film. Although Kodak developed the first handheld digital camera in 1975, fear of losing its dominance in the global market for its traditional camera, and film, business meant the product was dropped. By the mid-2000s, it had become very clear that Kodak failed to anticipate how consumers allegiance had shifted to a digital world. In 2012, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Has CITES now reached its Kodak Moment, where its lack of responsiveness to a changing world, compounded by a pandemic triggered by the inherent biosecurity risks of the legal trade in wildlife, mean it [...]

Best Jobs For The Future Campaign

By |2021-04-15T07:56:41+10:00April 11th, 2021|Blog|

Over recent years, politicians, in many parts of the world, have dismissed the type of youth activism best characterised by Greta Thunberg, because as children these protesters didn’t yet have a vote. Obviously, the politicians thought they still had sufficient sway over the parents, grandparents and older siblings of the School Strike For Climate generation to ensure that they would stick with the current neoliberal program. But what now that Greta has turned 18 and she can vote? Greta and her fellow campaigners can sign onto the electoral roll and so their views won’t be so easy for politicians to disregard. While some young adults in this age group will want to maintain [...]

No Transparency – No Trade Campaign

By |2022-11-13T07:41:34+11:00March 26th, 2021|Blog|

Wildlife and timber crime is a failure of business, industry, markets and investors. They demonstrate no understanding of the tremendous impacts of the poorly regulated procurement of endangered species for the global legal trade. Over the last 30 years, talk about sustainability has increased, bringing with it a growing pile of glossy sustainability reports. But we are further from sustainability in extracting biomass from nature than ever before. After decades of legal trade in endangered and exotic species there appears little commercial understanding of sustainable offtake levels. Begging the question, is it time for a moratorium on this trade until businesses, industries and shareholders provide the necessary investments to properly monitor and clean up supply chains? While the [...]

The Convergence Of Slavery And Extinction

By |2021-02-27T17:26:36+11:00February 24th, 2021|Blog|

Mention the word slavery and for most of us it brings to mind images of ships full of people in chains, transported from Africa to be sold to plantation owners in the USA and the Caribbean. Sadly, too few lessons have been learnt from this horrendous disregard of human life and today modern slavery is all around us. The last decade has seen a growing focus on the tragedy of modern day slavery, with governments around the world either enacting legislation aimed at tackling this crisis or considering doing so. This is yet another example highlighting that after decades of voluntary governance schemes and fair-trade initiatives, too many industries aren’t monitoring their supply chains. It [...]

Show Me The Money!

By |2021-02-23T11:24:14+11:00February 22nd, 2021|Blog|

How many reports will be published, talking about the desperate need for more financial support to stop biodiversity loss, which never talk about how to create an ongoing, reliable funding stream? The problem of ineffective monitoring and regulation of the trade in endangered species has been known for decades. Knowing the problem hasn’t yet led to anything other than piecemeal investments and, as a result, unsustainable over-exploitation for trade remains a major contributor to the extinction crisis. This was highlighted again this month, with an addition to the growing number of papers being written about the legal trade in wildlife; in this recent paper the authors state, “A global understanding of carrying capacity and offtake levels is [...]

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