Countries Get Failing Grades on Illegal Wildlife Trade Enforcement WWF Analysis
Countries Get Failing Grades on Illegal Wildlife TradeEnforcement WWF AnalysisWashington, D.C. (PRWEB) July 22, 2012 Widespread lack of enforcement by African and Asian nations is threatening the survival of wildrhinos, tigers and elephants, a new World Wildlife Fund (WWF) report has identified.
Wildlife Crime Scorecard: Assessing Compliance with and Enforcement of CITES Commitmentsfor Tigers, Rhinos and Elephants examines how 23 Asian and African nations considered asarray, transit, or buyer nations for these species are progressing in implementing theircommitments to the United Nations Convention on International Trade in Endangered Speciesof Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
CITES is the essential international treaty governing wildlife trade, and it almost universallyprohibits the international industrial trade of elephants, rhinos and tigers and their componentsand items.
The WWF examination comes as poaching and trafficking in rhino, elephant and tigerscomponents and goods is skyrocketing, and just before a important CITES meeting startingMonday in Geneva, Switzerland, where lawmakers will go over a variety of wildlife tradeproblems.
The report states that:
????Nepal and India get substantial marks for their progress in implementing their CITEScommitments across all three species
????Vietnam, Laos, and Mozambique are highlighted for their poor enforcement efforts — all 3 1/4
countries obtained two red ratings every single
????Overall, WWF has discovered that illegal trade persists in nearly all 23 countries reviewed,but the scorecard seeks to differentiate in between nations in which it is actively gettingcountered from these the place present efforts are entirely inadequate.Although these 23 countries are crucial to the illegal wildlife trade, the US has a function to playin stemming this crisis, explained Leigh Henry, WWF-US wildlife trade skilled.
Theres a great deal that the US government and buyers can do to support stop this illegal trade,which is destroying wild populations of elephants, rhinos and tigers, Henry stated. But right now,the US government is not putting enough manpower and cash behind its wildlife crimeenforcement efforts, she explained.
She said that there are merely not sufficient agents or funding to crack down on widespread,illicit operations that offer ivory, tiger skins and other wildlife merchandise, sometimes openly.Even when caught, the penalties are often light two New York jewelers convicted of offering $two million of ivory carvings had been recently offered a $ 55,000 fine.
Henry additional that Americas substantial population of captive tigers is yet another instance oflax oversight.
The US government itself is failing to comply with its very own CITES commitments by notregulating its captive tiger population. Theyve allowed these numbers to balloon to the pointnow in which there are far more tigers in captivity in the US far more than 5,000 — than there arein the wild 3,200.
Lack of regulation of tiger ownership in the U.S. final results in inability to track how severaltigers are becoming bred or born every single year, how many die (normally or or else), or whattakes place to tigers or their parts when the animals or their owners die.
And without having a comprehensive, federally regulated program in location, tigers in the U.S.can become an simple target for sale on the multimillion dollar global black market place fortiger elements and can stimulate demand for tiger products. This even more threatens wildpopulations by putting them at improved danger of poaching. 2/4
That demand is noticed in spots like Vietnam, which acquired two red scores, for rhinos andtigers, and is recognized in the WWF report as the top location nation for rhino horn. Thedemand has fuelled a poaching crisis in South Africa exactly where a record 448 South Africanrhinos have been killed for their horns in 2011. And presently this yr South Africa, which itselfreceives a yellow for rhinos, has lost an extra 262 rhinos. According to the report, severalVietnamese have been arrested or implicated in South Africa for obtaining rhino horns illegally,including Vietnamese diplomats.
It is time for Vietnam to encounter the reality that its illegal usage of rhino horn is driving thewidespread poaching of endangered rhinos in Africa, and that it must crack down on the illegalrhino horn trade. Vietnam really should assessment its penalties and instantly curtail retailmarkets, like World wide web marketing for horn, stated Elisabeth McLellan, InternationalSpecies System manager at WWF.
Inadequate enforcement of domestic ivory markets in China is also highlighted in the report.China receives a yellow score for elephants indicating a failure by the country to effectivelypolice its legal ivory markets. The ongoing flow of large volumes of illegal ivory to Chinasuggests that such ivory could be moving into legal ivory trade channels, the report says.
China is urged to substantially and persistently improve its enforcement controls for ivory and tocommunicate to Chinese nationals in Africa that anyone caught importing illegal wildlifemerchandise into China would be prosecuted, and if convicted, severely penalized.
Tens of 1000?s of African elephants are becoming killed by poachers every yr for their tusksand China and Thailand are prime locations for illegal African ivory. Thailand receives a redscore for its failure to close a legal loophole that makes it easy for merchants to offer ivory frompoached African elephants.
Elephant poaching is at crisis ranges in Central Africa, in which rhinos were likely poached toextinction. Last yr witnessed the elephant highest poaching prices across the continent becauserecords began. Early this yr hundreds of elephants have been killed in a single incident in aCameroon nationwide park. Offered the escalation of elephant poaching in Africa and theincreased ranges of organized crime involved in the trade, it is clear that the circumstance isnow vital, the report identified. 3/4
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