Saturday, 27 March 2010


From: Costa Rican Conservation Network's Blog
Date: 3/25/2010 10:12:12 PM

Subject: [New post] Why we failed (CITES debacle explained)

Why we failed (CITES debacle explained)
Andy Bystrom | March 25, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL:

In the past two weeks we have witnessed the dismantling of 4 shark proposals (representing 6 species) and a blue fin tuna proposal, all of which were presented at this year’s CITES convention. CITES’, or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, sole mission is to regulate the international trade of depleted populations of animals and plants. At a time when environmental awareness, ecosystem services, and the links between climate change and biodiversity loss are becoming better defined, the following questions must be asked—how did the Convention fail to pass these proposals? Are we really lacking the fundamental tools necessary to conserve and repair the planet’s natural systems?

WIth no international trade regulations in place, it's impossible to slow the destruction of shark species
First, here’s why the shark and tuna proposals all failed:

CITES is composed of 175 member nations. During the Convention’s meeting (held every 2-3 years) each member country or “party” gets to vote for or against proposals to include certain species into one of the Convention’s three appendices (see post "Costa Rica to swim with the hammerheads for an explanation of how CITES is structured). If a proposal for a certain animal achieves a 2/3 majority vote by the parties, the 175 member nations are obliged to amend their national policies and procedures to regulate said specie’s international trade.

At the Conference of the CITES Parties (CoP15) on March 13-25 in Doha, Qatar, 3 of the 4 shark proposals (and the tuna proposal) failed to obtain the 2/3 vote. This was due in no small part to the strident lobbying and bribing efforts of China and Japan, two countries openly opposed to the involvement of all international authorities in the regulation of ocean fish because of their shark fin and tuna sushi markets. While these countries only represent 2 votes, they amassed more support by pressuring smaller economically unstable countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Cambodia, Cameroon and Kyrgyzstan to vote against the proposals making the 2/3 majority impossible to achieve.

And it gets worse. The porbeagle shark—a close relative of the great white shark that is prized for its meat—proposal actually won, but was re-opened in plenary and overturned, thus making it a clean sweep for the world’s unrelenting, unsustainable fishing economies.

...and what does the future now hold for blue fin tuna?
So where do we go from here?

It’s clear that powerful global economies continue to dictate biodiversity conservation policy. Besides the obvious measures we can all take to only consume sustainably caught seafood, and limit/stop our seafood intake in order to ease the pressure we exert on the ocean’s finite resources, it’s important to recognize that there are a number of countries whose votes could be swayed by a stronger conservation NGO presence. Grant money must be secured to strengthen lobbying efforts within countries currently being manipulated by Japan and China’s economic pressures. If more people and resources are involved, then our conservation efforts will be made stronger.

There is a dark cloud hanging above me here in San José today; but I also believe that while we’re failing, the fight resumes, and I’m willing to keep trying. Thank you for reading and caring.


Another post, same site: 29th April 2010
Las Baulas Leatherback National Park has been saved for the time being! Costa Rica's Environmental Commission decided to postpone further discussion of the presidentially sponsored bill 17.383 that would reduce the park to a wildlife refuge and open its leatherback sea turtle nesting buffer zone up to development interests. Responsibility now falls on the shoulders of Costa Rica's new President Laura Chinchilla (to be inaugurated May 8). Will she do the right thing, break with her party's wayward interests, and protect the park?

Today's events are the latest chapter in a decade long fight to protect the Eastern Pacific Leatherback sea turtle's most viable nesting beaches. Over the past 2 years the fight has escalated as private interests have proposed changes to the park's boundaries in order to develop valuable lands along the park’s beaches. This latest threat (bill 17.383) was by far the moat concerted effort to redefine park limits. In fact, it proposed downgrading the park to a mere wildlife refuge in order to better facilitate zoning for future construction projects. Hundreds of thousands of people from around the world have sent letters to the Costa Rican congress urging it to do the right thing, and today your voices were heard.

Today, we celebrate this victory but tomorrow the campaign continues...

I say, a never ending JOB. By Pumpy

Stated by Paul Hawken:
On his overview of new research to protect our planet from distruction. The speech was intitiled:


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