Thursday, 9 August 2012

CITES warns Thailand to put house in order - Puts China on notice

CITES bares teeth, but can it bite?
August 2012. A week's long meeting of the CITES Standing Committee has ended in Geneva. The Committee governs the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) between full-scale meetings of the Conference of the Parties. 

The decisions taken are racheting up pressure on a number of countries to be held accountable over their failure to deal with rampant poaching and illegal trade, but no sanctions or punitive measures were agreed.
Sources and markets told to prove show actions to halt elephant slaughter
African countries identified as the main sources of illegal ivory in trade, plus Asian and East African transit countries and the two countries with the largest illegal ivory consumer markets-China and Thailand-were given until the end of the year by the Standing Committee to provide written reports of what progress they have made in tackling the illicit trade.
Failure to do so could ultimately result in a suspension of all trade in CITES-listed species with the country concerned, but the CITES Parties have so far avoided taking such action.
Thailand report sub-standard
Thailand, for example, had already been called upon to submit such a report, and did so at this meeting. WWF and TRAFFIC considered their report vague and non-committal, and joined others in calling for a timetable for the legislative changes needed to close a gaping loophole that allows ivory from illegal sources to be laundered into the Thai marketplace.
"With elephant poaching and illegal trade in ivory reaching new heights, we should not be shy about using CITES trade suspensions as an international tool to prevent a full-blown elephant crisis," said Tom Milliken, who co-authored the report on the status of elephants to the meeting.

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