Excellent news ……. The Species Survival Network (SSN) message about timber and tree issues is now running coast-to-coast in the USA media including newspapers such as the Boston Mail, Washington Post and San Francisco Chronicle and today’s press conference in the Hague should raise the tempo even further. It was well attended with significant interest in the top-line species (tigers, elephants, sharks, timber and leopard trophy hunting) and, particularly, the important role that the EU now plays at CITES with its block vote of 27 countries.
No details have emerged yet from the African Elephant Range States Dialogue meeting but we have heard that some people are discussing whether we should accept that there is a sustainable level of illegal trade in ivory. This seems to me like we should accept that there is an acceptable level of illegal use of drugs. Surely, our policy should be that it is illegal and our actions should be consistent in trying to prevent illegalities. That is not to say that we can necessarily end all illegal activities but, in my view, we should not condone the ivory trade or the drugs trade, both of which involve corruption, brutality, greed and death.
This evening, Professor Sam Wasser will be presenting his findings concerning the DNA tracking of ivory. He is able now, after many years, to determine the origin of intercepted consignments of ivory through DNA analysis. It should be fascinating and will, undoubtedly, add one more tool to our toolkit for fighting the illegal trade in ivory.
And possibly good news from China !? The China Daily News reports today that the State Forestry Administration is publicly reaffirming its commitment to a total ban on the sale of tiger products. Details are scant but we will investigate further and hope that firstly it is true; secondly, that it is implemented and reinforced; and, thirdly, that it is permanent.
More to follow shortly.