Thursday, 6 November 2014

Kimberley Process is no model for legal rhino horn trade

Kimberley Process is no model for legal rhino horn tradeSouth Africa is almost certain to try to push through a legal rhino horn trade at the CITES meeting in 2016. Those in support of a legal trade say a highly regulated system could raise money for rhino protection and slash poaching rates. Often those is support of a legal rhino horn trade point to the Kimberley Process of tackling ‘blood diamonds’.

A report from a Panel of Experts at the end of last month on the conflict in Central African Republic demonstrates that the Kimberley Process is not as effective as thought and is pretty weak when it comes to trying to end the trade in conflict or blood diamonds.

While the Panel of Experts were examining the human rights abuses and the mass killings currently underway in the Central African Republic (CAR) hidden in the text is an interesting revelation.

Despite all diamonds from the Central African Republic being banned from the marketplace by the Kimberley Process last year since that ban over US$24 million of CAR diamonds have entered the global marketplace after being smuggled out of the country.

This means that one of the most highly regulated markets in the world is unable to stop 140,000 carats of diamonds from one country entering the marketplace. It is a clear indication that any rhino horn trade model that uses the Kimberley Process as an example of effective controlled trade is flawed.

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