Posts Tagged ‘cites’

Wildlife Crime Police Expand Scope

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Here’s some new developments in international environmental law enforcement worth paying attention to.  First, earlier this month INTERPOL’s General Assembly voted unanimously in favor of a resolution encouraging greater global policing efforts to stem environmental crimes.  This may sound like diplo-speak for more nothing, but it is a necessary step to Interpol’s Environmental Programme moving forward.  I was at Interpol HQ for talks in Lyon, France earlier this year.  The program has a lot of potential and offers a fairly neutral forum to address transnational environmental crime, but it is so poorly funded it relies on a couple of NGOs for its budget.

The second development is the new International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC) “eye-kwik,” which will bring together INTERPOL, CITES, World Customs, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank into a new effort.  These are key international institutions related to wildlife and crime but ICCWC is yet another committee and the word “wildlife” tends to yield next to no money/government commitment when it comes to crime.  It remains to be seen what the group will produce.  An alternative might have been to step up authority for INTERPOL’s environmental programme without creating a new entity. 

ICWCC is touted in this linked story as an alternative to ASEAN’s wildlife enforcement network, criticized here for not taking down the real Mister Bigs of SE Asia.  WEN could certainly do more, but it has made progress.  And that is more than most wildlife trade bodies can say. 

Check out Azrina Abdullah’s excellent comment below:

Driving Trade with a New Dashboard

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Here is a cool tool for checking on wildlife trade and trends by species, country, region, etc.  It is actually fun to use, or, since it’s called a dasboard, to drive:

CITES Trade Data Dashboard

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…