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Hongqiao Liu at Power Reporting 2013
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Hongqiao Liu at Power Reporting 2013


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The Chinese Environmental Journalism Project, hosted by the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalists and the Wits China-Africa Reporting Project, produced a unique collaborative …

The Chinese Environmental Journalism Project, hosted by the Oxpeckers Center for Investigative Environmental Journalists and the Wits China-Africa Reporting Project, produced a unique collaborative journalism model that should be replicated

Published in: Environment, Technology, Business

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  • 1. Digging Out China’s Role in Global Rhino Horn Trade A Presentation for PowerReporting 2013 HONGQIAO LIU Caixin Environment Hub, Caixin Media Oxpeckers Center of Environmental Investigative Journalists
  • 2. • The Wits & Oxpeckers Environmental Investigative journalist fellowship 2013 • Young Journalist of the Year, the 2013 China Environmental Press Awards, 2013 • First Prize of the Nandu Journalism Scholarship, 2011 • Visiting Scholar 2010-2011, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, U.S • Actively involved in civil society and social movement in mainland China Nice to meet you! Hongqiao Liu Environment & Science journalist
  • 3. Why rhinos? Why China? China has thousands of years history of using rhino horn Traditional Chinese Medition (TCM) is believed to be the main demand China was once the world’s No.1 consumer before the 1993 ban Vietnam consumes 2/3 rhino horn while China accounts for the rest 1/3 China’s economic growth & huge potential market Chinese buyers, sellers, middleman, smugglers are spotted and arrested Chinese private pharmacy company’s “research” on harvesting horn RHINOS ARE ENDANGERED
  • 4. Key issues  China in the chain: What are the traffic routes? How does China’s role differ before and after the ban in 1993?  China domestic market: How big is the market? Who are the consumers? What’s driving the demand? How does black market trade conducted?  Chinese criminals: Who are they? What levels are they?  The next wave:Is China a growing market? Are Chinese more active in the trade? Will China legalize the trade? Will China prove commercial use?
  • 5. Research Method  Literature review  Data collection  In-depth Interview  Informal discussion  Online enquiry  Undercover investigation  ……
  • 6. Get the stake-holders to talk  Wan ZiMing, State Forestry Administration, China  Michael H Knight, Chairman of IUCN/SSC African Rhino Specialist Group  Tom Milliken, Elephant & Rhino Program Leader, TRAFFIC  Susie Watts, independent environmental policy counselor  Mary Rice, Director of Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA)  Michael‘t Sas-Rolfes, independent Conservation Economist  Colman O Criodain, Policy Analyst, WWF  ……
  • 7. “In addition to Viet Nam, China also appears to be emerging as a country of concern …the rhino horn trade in China is more active than previously recognized and needs to be assessed more deeply.” Source: African and Asian Rhinoceroses – Status, Conservation and Trade, TRAFFIC & IUCN, Mar 2013 Key findings Rhino horn trade in China is more active and probably growing
  • 8. Key findings Main smuggling patterns: overseas mailing, cargos, in mix with ivory / timber / other high value smugglings Source: National Inter-agency CITES Enforcement Coordination Group (NICECG), China, 2013
  • 9. Key findings - Growing cross-boarder seizure - Chinese participate in drinking party that serves grounded rhino horn with rice wine - Chinese tourists buying raw rhino horn and rhino horn products in Hanoi. The shop offers routing shipping from Hanoi to mainland China cities. New evidence of active trade flow from Vietnam to China Source: Seizure report from CITES China; The Hanoi Connection,2013; Tom Milliken interview, 2013
  • 10. Easy access to rhino horn dealers online in Chinese websites and offline in open market in South Africa Key findings Source: Rhino Horn Bar, Baidu Tieba, 2013
  • 11. Key findings “Of 43 documented arrests of Asian nationals for rhino crimes in South Africa 24 were Vietnamese (56%) 13 were Chinese (28%) With the remainder from Thailand and Malaysia.” Source: The South Africa – Viet Nam Rhino Horn Trade Nexus, TRAFFIC, 2012
  • 12. Media coverage - 6000 words investigative feature for Caixin Century Magazine (in Chinese) - 2500 words investigative feature for Caixin English website (in English) - 2400 words feature package for Forestry Investigative Journal (in English) - 5min in-depth video interview with Tom Milliken for Oxpeckers website (in English) - 4000 words package of feature and interview,for China Dialogue (in English & Chinese) (to be published soon) - A well-discussed blog on TCM & rhino crisis (in Chinese) - A map of trafficking routes to China, for Oxpeckers website - To be continued…
  • 13. Discussion  How to work with police Independent investigation VS. undercover operation as police informant  How to deal with first-hand information Seeing is (NOT) believing  Be careful with agenda setting Don’t fool your audience & Don’t be fooled yourself
  • 14. Thanks for listening! Welcome to China & Welcome reporting China issues! Contact: Hongqiao LIU m +86 186 0073 6708 (China) m +27 84 276 8076 (South Africa)