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Wildlife trade and global warming

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  • 1. TRAFFICKING OF WILD SPECIES - GLOBAL WARMING Juan Carlos García Codron University of Cantabria
  • 2. Topic I TRAFFICKING OF WILD SPECIES
  • 3. Topic I TRAFFICKING OF WILD SPECIES * one of the main problems for biodiversity conservation * widespread in all regions of the world * the second largest illegal trade (€4-5 billion/year?) * relation with poverty and inequalities
  • 4. The human species belongs to the animal kingdom. For biological reasons, its existence would not be possible without other living creatures. and, for this reason, the conscious use of animals, plants and fungi by the people has existed in all ages and societies … ... as well as unconscious (microorganisms in food or in our bodies…) prehistoric tools for hunting and fishing
  • 5. The conscious use takes many forms and has been changing depending on our cultural evolution ... of our lifestyles … ... of our wealth children and aboriginal hunters, 1900 approx. Argentina
  • 6. The most important objectives for the capture of animals have been: * Obtaining food Food markets in Saigon (Vietnam) and Dapaong (Togo)
  • 7. The most important objectives for the capture of animals have been: * Obtaining food * Domestication (to obtain company, food, help at work, protection…) * Religion- beliefs (rituals, offerings, divination, magical practices...) superstition curing diseases Shell from the Philippines used as a water basin in a spanish church Animal parts for voodoo rites (Benin, Nigeria…)
  • 8. The most important objectives for the capture of animals have been: * Obtaining food * Domestication (to obtain company, food, help at work, protection…) * Religion- beliefs (rituals, offerings, divination, magical practices...) superstition curing diseases * Fun (spectacles, sports, hunting ...) * Social status (symbols, heraldic, luxury...) * Zoos, museums, collections * Science (research, experimentation…)
  • 9. The demands have changed over time in each region … and they still vary today between different parts of the world In this way, in most developed Western countries animals are no longer caught in a significant way to Obtaining food Religion- beliefs (rituals, offerings, divination, magical practices...) superstition curing diseases Fun (spectacles, sports, hunting ...) … although certain uses persist -even illegally- among some people Traffic of protected birds between SE Europe and Italy Sale of coral in Croatia
  • 10. The demands have changed over time in each region … and they still vary today between different parts of the world In this way, in most developed Western countries animals are no longer caught in a significant way to Obtaining food Religion- beliefs (rituals, offerings, divination, magical practices...) superstition curing diseases Fun (spectacles, sports, hunting ...) … although certain uses persist -even illegally- among some people rite of sorcery in Cantabria
  • 11. … in most developed Western countries the use of animals caught in the wild is strictly regulated or have been prohibited Domestication (to obtain company, food, help at work, protection…) Social status (symbols, luxury...) Zoos, museums, collections Science (research, experimentation…) but this regulation raises the price of these animal (often very much) and stimulates illegal trade trafficker arrested while trying to introduce 22 pythons attached to his body
  • 12. However, in less developed societies (for example, rural populations in Africa and Latin América...) captured animals are mainly used for Food To obtain different materials (skin, bones, fat ...) Religion- beliefs (rituals, offerings, divination, magical practices...) superstition curing diseases But also for Domestication (to obtain company, food, help at work, protection…) Fun (spectacles, animal fighting...) Social status (symbols, luxury...) animals are generally captured by people in its immediate surroundings and the money earned for them is reduced
  • 13. At the same time, in other regions (as the countries of Southeast Asia) millions of animals are caught every year to be used as Traditional medicine Food Domestication (working animals, protection…) But also for Fun (spectacles, animal fighting...) Social status (symbols, luxury...) Zoos, museums, collections Science (research, experimentation…) these countries are very densely populated and its environment is very transformed… … so the capture of animals implies a heavy environmental pressure … and the demand can only be satisfied by the importation
  • 14. In Asia, traditional medicine is the main concern in relation with threatened species It is believed that 800 million of people use medicines of this type only in China The consumption of traditional remedies made of tiger bone, bear gall bladder, rhinoceros horn, dried geckoes and other animal parts is of huge proportions. Chinese medicines
  • 15. The use of animal parts in Chinese medicine is not new, but the increase in the standard of living has made these remedies available to most people in recent years.
  • 16. The Chinese culture believes that all parts of the animals can be used as medicine. The use of endangered tiger products is seen as a symbol of high status and wealth. Here are some examples of how tiger parts are used: * Tiger claws: used as a sedative for insomnia * Teeth: used to treat fever * Fat: used to treat leprosy and rheumatism * Nose leather: used to treat superficial wounds such as bites * Tiger bone: used as an anti-inflammatory to treat rheumatism and arthritis, weakness, headaches, stiffness or paralysis and dysentery * Eyeballs: used to treat epilepsy and malaria * Tail: used to treat skin diseases * Bile: used to treat convulsions in children associated with meningitis * Whiskers: used to treat toothaches * Brain: used to treat laziness and pimples * Penis: used in love potions such as tiger soup, as an aphrodisiac * Dung or feces: used to treat boils, hemorrhoids and cure alcoholism
  • 17. Are the capture and the trade of living creatures really necessary? taking into account the preceding, there is not a single response every region of the world presents different biological resources different needs (real or perceived) differents situations (political, economic, social awareness…) We can ban the human consumption of meat from wild animals in Europe but we can’t in Africa some species are scarce in some regions but not in others Is there a need to protect all species in the same way all over the world? obviously not eating worms for sale bushmeat in a restaurant (Zimbabwe)
  • 18. Moreover, many people want to possess objects, plants or animals simply because they are scarce To have something expensive and difficult to obtain gives prestige (as with gold or diamonds) … and that makes that the more rare is an animal, the more you pay for it … and more people try to catch it … until its extinction
  • 19. Can we prevent a person from a poor country trying to sell an animal or a plant for a tourist to get some money? the problem will persist as long as major economic differences remain between those people: 10€ is not much money for a souvenir but it is a very important amount for a boy from Brazil or Cambodia
  • 20. The problem is that the price paid in Asia for a single rhinoceros horn equals the annual income of 275 people in Zambia How can we prevent that desperately poor people do not try to kill and sell rhinos, elephants, leopards ...? employees of a national park cutting the horn of a rhino to avoid traffickers kill him
  • 21. These activities are very harmful to the environment and detrimental to society therefore, the usual response of governments is to establish mechanisms of control (or prohibition) which are very difficult to implement effectively If the sale of animals is forbidden but demand remains… ... and if there are people disposed to pay big money for these animals in other countries ... trade will continue to exist illegally Objects made of brown bear parts Hanoi airport (Vietnam)
  • 22. Why does the illegal animal trade is bad? CONSEQUENCES OF ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE Direct consequences in the COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN: Illegal trafficking of animals has major implications in ecosystems pressure on wildlife is very strong -> species extinction It is estimated that only 1 animal in 10 survives the illegal trade - the mortality is high in the catch, - in many cases the young are caught killing the mother. Furthermore, - most animals dies in a few weeks due to improper care
  • 23. Why does the illegal animal trade is bad? CONSEQUENCES OF ILLEGAL WILDLIFE TRADE Direct consequences in the COUNTRIES OF ORIGIN: The capture, hunting and removal of animals from the wild is the second threat to the survival of species, after habitat destruction RUPTURE OF ECOLOGICAL EQUILIBRIUM
  • 24. Indirect consequences: As it is illegal, traffic is controlled by criminal organizations … Which bribe the police and authorities to act more easily, … generating corruption and causing crime (murders, robberies, gang wars ...) Moreover, the traffickers need the complicity of some people of indigenous communities who are paid ridiculous amounts per head regardless of the species. Child catching a sloth in Brazil
  • 25. Moreover, the traffickers need the complicity of some people of indigenous communities who are paid ridiculous amounts per head regardless of the species. For example, a Blue-throated Macaw an endangered bird that lives only in the Pantanal (Bolivia- Brazil), can cost up to € 50 000 in the U.S. or Europe, but the traders don’t pay more than 20€ to his hunters. traffic deteriorates the environment but does not enrich the inhabitants … most of the benefit remains in the hands of traffickers
  • 26. Now, please, try to solve this addition: Environmental degradation + more corruption + more criminality + negligible benefits = ?
  • 27. Now, please, make this addition: Environmental degradation + more corruption + more criminality + negligible benefits = more poverty / deterioration of living conditions
  • 28. But illegal wildlife trade has also consequences for the countries of destination : Many pets escape or are released by their owners… … when they are able to survive and reproduce, they can be installed permanently becoming invasive species Invasive species compete with local damaging ecosystems and causing disturbance to people Invasive parrots occupying the habitat of pigeons in Madrid Parrot nests in Madrid
  • 29. In some cases, exotic pets carry diseases that do not exist in destination countries ... and that can be transmitted to humans or threaten the local fauna Finally, illegal trade allows people to consume traditional remedies that are generally not effective … instead of use the modern medicine, science-based many people who could be cured die each year for this reason
  • 30. Illegal trafficking exists in all countries of the world but their gravity and evolution are unequal the main areas of origin are Africa, Southeast Asia and Latin America the main destination areas are Southeast Asia (for medicine and food) USA and Europe (pets) Middle East and Persian Gulf (pets, private collections, hunting, shows ...)
  • 31. Solutions? * International agreements to regulate the legal trade (which is an important source of revenue for many countries) * Police checks at borders and airports * Intensify the sanctions not only the traffickers but also to customers but this will be insufficient ... and the traffic will continue to exist ... unless you get reducing Disparities between rich and poor countries, Lack of environmental awareness and the irrationality of many people Discovery of a shipment of death birds by the border police (Italy)
  • 32. But things can change through culture: in Europe, very recently, * children were told that it was not wrong to kill elephants * children were told it was normal or keep wild animals in captivity * wild animals were caught just for fun * wild animals are caught for food * and medicines were made with animal and plants taken in the wild
  • 33. Now, all those things have almost disappeared in most advanced countries Thanks to the culture Can we move in that direction and around the world?
  • 34. Topic II GLOBAL WARMING
  • 35. Thanks to the fossils we know that terrestrial ecosystems have been changing continuously over time … and these changes reflect a succession of different types of climates Fossilized traces of hail Fossilized plants of cold climates found in Germany Fossilized remains of a forest in a region that today is occupied by desert (Arizona-USA)
  • 36. By this, we know that certain periods have been warmer… … and other cooler than today, in accordance with cycles lasting millions of years
  • 37. But we also know that during the Quaternary the climate has experienced very important alternances (hot-cold) in cycles of about 100,000 years. cold periods were called " glaciations ”, while hot are called " interglacials "
  • 38. During the glaciations temperatures were much cooler than current in the middle and high latitudes (dark green and blues in the map), … but did not change much in the tropics (yellow, brown and red)
  • 39. … as a result, large areas of land were covered by ice
  • 40. and sea level dropped more than 100 meters … exposing large areas that are now submerged … and generating important changes in the coastline Ason estuary during the last glaciation and today
  • 41. These cycles caused major changes in ecosystems: * large regions that are habitable today were covered with ice or suffered very cold climates, * while others, that are now deserts, were covered with vegetation Prehistoric engravings with representations of livestock and wild animals in the Libyan desert
  • 42. Finally, we also know that climate have shorter fluctuations (a few centuries) … although they are much less important (less than one degree centigrade) These "minor" fluctuations, have little effect on ecosystems, but have been very important for people throughout history For example, during the Middle Ages there was a warm phase that allowed the Vikings to colonize Iceland and Greenland Settlement of viking origin in the Faeroe Islands
  • 43. ... and between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries there was a cold and very irregular phase … which has been called the “ Little Ice Age " in Europe the winters were exceptionally cold causing great difficulties to the people (loss of crops, death from cold or hunger ...) Painting depicting a winter during the Little Ice Age in Belgium
  • 44. ... ports and rivers froze preventing navigation which paralyzed trade for long periods each year Engraving showing the organization of a fair on the frozen River Thames in London (XVII century)
  • 45. ... In some mountain areas glaciers advanced down valleys destroying villages and crops Position of the glacier of Argentieres today (left) and in the nineteenth century (right). French Alps.
  • 46. ... Northern parts of Europe were abandoned by their inhabitants because agriculture became impossible In the Scottish Highlands agriculture disappeared as a result of excessive cold and many people had to migrate to more benign regions
  • 47. ... while in Spain many "wells" were built to take advantage of the snow (selling it in cities) in regions where it is very rare today Remnants of snow pits in Mallorca and Alicante
  • 48. All this was caused by a difference of no more than 1 º C ¿is 1ºC a big difference?
  • 49. All changes and fluctuations described so far have a natural origin and, therefore, are “normal” They are caused by physical or astronomical processes and will continue to occur even if humanity disappears … and they have nothing to do with human activity Small fluctuations in Earth's orbit characteristics explain most of the climatic cycles
  • 50. However, over the last century, there has been a break in the "normal" trend of temperatures that suddenly have begun to increase in an illogical manner illogical? temperature difference compared to the period 1930-60 year Degrees ºC
  • 51. However, over the last century, there has been a break in the "normal" trend of temperatures that suddenly have begun to increase in an illogical manner illogical? Not exactly, we know that the warming is caused by human activities that produce contamination altering the composition of the atmosphere Evolution of world temperature (red line) Atmospheric content of CO 2 (blue line) year
  • 52. Do you see a relationship between the two lines? Evolution of world temperature (red line) Atmospheric content of CO 2 (blue line) year
  • 53. The atmosphere is like a greenhouse it retains some of the heat we receive from the sun and so, we speak of the " greenhouse effect “ if we modify its composition the intensity of greenhouse effect changes immediately
  • 54. The first consequence is a strong increase in temperature Temperature change for the period 2000 to 2009 relative to the temperatures from 1951 to 1980
  • 55. but rainfall is also changing … increasing in some regions and declining in others
  • 56. As well of the intensity of major storms and the trajectory of some the cyclones: for the first time in history, a tropical cyclone has hit the Spanish coast and another to those of Uruguay and Southern Brazil Effects of tropical storm “Delta" in the Canary Islands in 2004
  • 57. Yes, yes, I know, but Is that really so important? What are the consequences? the consequences are very diverse and cover many different aspects for example, the temperature increase means a reduction in snowfall and this is forcing the retreat of all the glaciers around the world Rhone Glacier in the nineteenth century and today (Switzerland)
  • 58. Ice melting during the dry season is the only source of water in some tropical regions (for example in some areas of Peru, Bolivia, Kenia…) If the glaciers disappear, people will run out of water Reduction of the area covered by ice on Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
  • 59. In mid latitudes (Europe, USA…) there’s a big concern about the ski resorts: In most of them, the number of "days without snow increases from year to year
  • 60. Meanwhile, the Arctic sea ice is melting causing major environmental impacts and endangering many species that need ice (as the polar bears)
  • 61. Change in precipitation and increased temperatures will cause many regions suffer water stress (lack of water)… … while in others, the rain can be prejudicial because of excessive
  • 62. The melting of polar ice and the dilatation of ocean water is producing a general increase in sea level
  • 63. The melting of polar ice and the dilatation of ocean water is producing a general increase in sea level This fact leads to beach erosion Beach erosion in Oyambre (Cantabria). The monument was erected in 1928 in a prairy, away from the sea
  • 64. The melting of polar ice and the dilatation of ocean water is producing a general increase in sea level This fact leads to beach erosion and threatens many cities located at sea level in deltas and flat areas as, for example, Tokyo (Japan) Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) Miami and New Orleans (USA) Alexandria (Egypt) Dacca (Bangladesh) Cotonou (Benin) Lagos (Nigeria) etc.
  • 65. Look at the position of the coast at Lagos (Nigeria), depending on sea level Urbanized areas (in grey) Sea level (in relation with present)
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  • 69. But the worst can happen in large deltas, very flat and crowded Nile (Egypt), Ganges (Bangladesh), Mekong (Vietnam), Yangtse (China), etc In these places people do not have place to go
  • 70. Global warming also produces impacts on ecosystems … at sea (death of corals by excessive temperature ...)
  • 71. … as on the continents where many species must move toward the poles or towards the summits looking at lower temperatures
  • 72. … or change their habits to adapt to new conditions as some Cantabrian bears that have ceased to hibernate
  • 73. Other problems are related to agriculture In general, climate change … will benefit the regions in middle and high latitudes (which are usually richer countries) … and harm to the Mediterranean and tropical areas (where there are many poor countries)
  • 74. In many poor countries, some crops will no be possible and shall be abandoned
  • 75. Finally, it is foreseeable that certain tropical diseases may extend to regions where they do not exist
  • 76. During the Quaternary glaciations temperature differences were about 10ºC … but the changes occurred over several thousand of years During the little ice age the difference was approximately 1ºC In all these cases ecosystems had time in order to adapt But now, mathematical models predict a rise in temperatures that could reach 5°C … in a century Climate change has never been so fast and you can not to know how ecosystems, people, society will respond
  • 77. It is clear that the problem is very serious but the economic implications of any measures to stop warming are very important Most Governments defends the interests of their industries … and do not care to respect international commitments hoping that others do and that others will pay the bill
  • 78. Meanwhile, each day that passes the earth becomes more and more sick something must be done and, for this, an agreement between all countries is necessary and very urgent
  • 79. That is what we expect of you Ladies and gentlemen, Delegates of the General Assembly
  • 80. Do not forget to smile Thanks for your attention! Juan Carlos García Codron