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Is CITES toothless?

Thursday 12th November 2015

No No No


We all on this site and other sites are perfectly capable of something called “joining the dots”.

So listen to this.

FIFA has been shown to be entirely corrupt. The IAAF has now been shown to be corrupt.

You might say these are agencies representing sport. But our major conservation organizations could be similarly exposed.

For example, CITES – standing for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora, with a membership of most nations in the world, risks being significantly shamed.

CITES has been given the authority by the United Nations Environment Programme to “blacklist” member nations to exclude them from future trade in wildlife and plant products if they do not adhere to scientifically determined export quotas.

CITES has hardly ever used their “teeth”. As an example, Kenya and Tanzania should have been blacklisted for corrupt practices that facilitate not only killing elephants for their ivory but also the facilitation of illegal ivory exports through airports and seaports of such ivory. Tanzania has “lost” over 66,000 elephants in the past five years due to poaching. There seems little doubt that this scale of poaching was aided and abetted by government. Yet they are still allowed to export elephant and lion hunting trophies with CITES permits? How does that work?

CITES remains silent. They take a risk. FIFA and IAAF have now been exposed for corrupt practices. Is CITES next to have officials arrested and their Swiss office raided by police?

The EU, though their Wildlife Trade Regulation Scientific Review Group still supports trophy hunting exports from corrupt African countries, and in fact recently again allowed EU imports of lion trophies from Tanzania and elephant trophies from Zambia. Zimbawe has similarly been given a green light for all sorts of trophy hunting exports to the EU. Against all scientific advice.

These are risky decisions certainly not supported by the vast majority of EU member state citizens and other world citizens supposedly represented by CITES.

Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 11:41