Back from Doha

Just back from Doha, Qatar where I attended the UN CITES meeting on international trade in endangered species for National Geographic.  It was some meeting.  The most publicized issues were trade in bluefin tuna, polar bears, several shark species, and African elephants and their ivory.  In all cases mentioned, except elephants, the parties declined to increase protection for the animals or otherwise limit their trade. 

The Japanese delegation got a lot of attention for having a large party the night before the bluefin tuna vote in which they served raw bluefin tuna prepared by two sushi chefs they had flown in for the event. 

Tanzania and Zambia lost their bids to downlist their elephants on the way to selling their ivory stocks.

Little mentioned was a decision to streamline the approval process for captive breeding critically endangered animals.  The existing process was surely onerous but if history is any guide, this new, less rigorous process will open a door for laundering wild-caught animals as captive bred.

As for me, my connection from Doha went thru Munich with a five hour lay over, giving me about a 30 hour trip home.  After a week in a country with no alcohol (officially anyway) I’m making up for lost time…

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