Posts Tagged ‘National Geographic’

Speaking Out

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Yesterday, I said that writing letters is an important tool for those interested in doing something when it comes to illegal wildlife trade.  Here is an example, appearing today, in Malaysia:

Corruption taking the bite out of Perhilitan
by Sean Whyte | Mar 29 from

I refer to the letter Tiger battle: Take up call to arms with a roar.  Time and again one reads of so-called legally protected wildlife being either caught in or, illegally traded (laundered) through Malaysia.  Millions of birds and animals have been sent to a cruel death in foreign countries such as China and the United States with Perhilitan making no serious effort to stop it. Why would this be?

According to the prestigious National Geographic magazine it is largely because of corruption within Perhilitan; something of an open secret anyway.

How do the people of Malaysia feel about their country being (more…)

Sun Shines on Wildlife Trade

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

 I am often asked what an individual can do to protect wildlife or otherwise to address the illegal wildlife trade.  One answer is to become aware of what you are buying, where it came from, and how it was procured.  Another answer is to take up a pen (or keyboard) and write.  The Internet can be a boon to wildlife protection and better government.  Here is a letter running this week in Malaysia, from The Sun:

Do more to protect wildlife
(Mon, 29 Mar 2010)
The Sun

I REFER to “Failure at Doha heard around the globe” (Speak Up, March 29). Eric Margolis is correct to state that consumers need to make their power felt to protect wildlife.

I would like to share my two cents worth on our failure to protect our own wildlife. In January, National Geographic ran a story, “The Kingpin“, on a major wildlife trader who was based in Penang, and his alleged working relationship with a high level government officer in the Wildlife Department.

According to the writer, Bryan Christy, the relationship enabled the man to expand his business to export endangered wildlife illegally. This story was the cover story on several regional editions of the magazine.

As I was reading the article, I was thinking that the government must surely react to the article as it focuses on the failure of the Malaysian system in protecting its own wildlife. Instead, (more…)

Back from Doha

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

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…