Better protection for elephants, rhinos and more from UN treaty
“As a next step we will forward amending the national legislation with the goal of putting an end on ivory trade and to be in line with international norms,” Prime Minster Shinawatra said. “This will help protect all forms of elephants including Thailand’s wild and domestic elephants and those from Africa.”
“We’re thrilled to hear that Prime Minister Shinawatra took this opportunity to seize the global spotlight and pledge to end ivory trade in her country. But the fight to stop wildlife crime and shut down Thailand’s ivory markets is not over. Prime Minister Shinawatra now needs to provide a timeline for this ban and ensure that it takes place as a matter of urgency, because the slaughter of elephants continues,” said Carlos Drews head of WWF’s delegation to CITES.
“Having prestigious leaders from the Buddhist community in Thailand lead this ceremony here, which is usually practiced for a family member who has passed away, emphasizes that we are all interdependent and part of one great web of life,” said Phansiri Winichagoon, country director of WWF-Thailand.
“These timely decisions to have trade in sharks and manta rays regulated by CITES show that governments can muster the political will to keep our oceans healthy, securing food and other benefits for generations to come – and we hope to see similar action in the future to protect other commercially exploited and threatened marine species, both at the national and international level.” said Carlos Drews head of WWF’s delegation to CITES.
“Regulating the trade throughout Asia aims to protect humphead wrasse from overfishing and encourages sustainable fishing which will ensure a future for this species.” said Dr Colman O Criodain, WWF`s Policy Analyst, International Wildlife Trade.
The challenge now is to ensure that Viet Nam and Mozambique make progress on their CITES commitments within the agreed time frame to avoid trade sanctions in the summer of 2014.
"This is a big step forward for the protection of rhinos, a prehistoric animal that are being butchered for their horns at alarming rates to feed demand primarily in Viet Nam,” said Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s delegation at CITES.
“We’re disappointed by the lack of urgency from governments to speed up the sanctions process against countries that have failed to act for years to curb the illegal ivory trade in their countries, while the slaughter of thousands of elephants continues in Africa,” said Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s CITES delegation.
“This is a good decision by the governments of CITES and we hope that this will ensure the future of these precious trees” said Dr Colman O Criodain, WWF`s Policy Analyst, International Wildlife Trade.
The sanctions prevent Guinea from importing and exporting all the 35,000 species listed by CITES. They have been sanctioned due to concerns over the issuance of invalid CITES permits, which facilitated illegal trade for protected species. Great apes such as chimpanzees and gorillas, among other species, have been exported from Guinea, reaching foreign markets, especially in Asia.
The appearance of the species in the pet trade outside Japan strongly suggests illegal activity is taking place. Governments at CITES chose to accept the Japanese listing proposal, which will see this unique turtle gain better protection against illegal international trade.
“The proposal to list the Ryukyu black-breasted leaf turtle is a small but significant step for Japan,” said Kahoru Kanari, Senior Programme Officer with TRAFFIC and an author of the report. “
WWF believes that the real number of apes killed and traded is double or even triple this figure, due to the larger, more influential and significant bushmeat trade, which needs greater attention. Especially in Central Africa, ape meat is still a sought after commodity for mid-high level socio-political functions.
“CITES has shown it can take strong measures to tackle international trade in great apes, for example by agreeing CITES trade sanctions for Guinea last week partly due to illegal ape trade,” said Wendy Elliott, from the WWF Illegal Wildlife Trade Campaign.
Under CITES rules, failure by those countries to take action would lead to a compliance process potentially leading to sanctions. The treaty allows CITES member states to recommend that parties stop trading with non-compliant countries in the 35,000 species covered under the convention, from orchids to crocodile skins.
“After years of inaction, governments today put those countries doing little or nothing to regulate the ivory trade on watch, a move that will help stem the unfettered slaughter of thousands of African elephants. The gains made to better protect species here in Bangkok are a major milestone.” said Carlos Drews, head of WWF’s CITES delegation.