1 Tahrcountry Musings: CITES Needs New Direction

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

CITES Needs New Direction


The Doha conference has clearly exposed the limits of environmental co-operation when it comes to CITES. CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species)    imposes restrictions of varying severity on the trade on 5,000 species of animals and 28,000 plants. Everything looks rosy on paper but ground realities are very grim. 
CITES suffers from limited funding and no legal powers to enforce its rulings on member states.  Smugglers and poachers have devised ways to overcome official restrictions. Internet has emerged as one of the chief threats. 
The agreement between 175 member states of CITES is very tenuous. There are increasing attempts to breach the consensus. Look at what has happened to Blurfin Tuna. After intense lobbying, Japan succeeded in stonewalling attempts to impose a ban on Bluefin tuna fishing. Trade in red and pink coral also went the same way with pressure from Italy and China. The species is on its way to extinction. Short-term national interests ride roughshod over science and conservation. 
CITES clearly needs a shot in the arm. Member countries will have to give preference to science and conservation over their parochial interests if the organization is to achieve what it is intended for.

1 comment:

rame409 said...

It is very sad that countries neglect the ecological crisis that the world is facing, and still wind up doing exactly what they are not supposed to by flouting rules, and getting around it through devious ways. A stronger stand from the people would get take things a long way, but unfortunately the numbers of conscious people are very few among a massive ignorant lot.