CITES - conserving or destroying?

Discussion in 'Orchid Conservation' started by s1214215, Apr 17, 2011.

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  1. Apr 27, 2011 #61

    gonewild

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    Well actually Taiwan can't issue CITES certificates because they did not sign the treaty.
     
  2. Apr 27, 2011 #62

    Pete

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    Taiwan is in an interesting position regarding being a party to the treaty or not. they are their own country, own president etc, however are technically a part of the republic of China.
     
  3. Apr 27, 2011 #63

    NYEric

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    The glorious People's Democratic Republic grascioulsy extends the hand of friendship to our brethren across the bay!
     
  4. Apr 28, 2011 #64

    Howzat

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    Hi Tom
    Is there a film ,titled just that?? Or are you just kidding?????
     
  5. Apr 28, 2011 #65

    Howzat

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    I believe that Taiwan is now a signatory (1995???). At TIOS they also have a spot where people can get plants certified. Never ask them about flask, because I never thought that flasks needed to be certified (at least into Australia). But now I know that USA W&F can ask any one coming into the country.
     
  6. Apr 28, 2011 #66

    s1214215

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    Er.. sorry, but this kind of sign, the kind I have seen in several countries does lead one to think CITES has some authority here and its not just a government agency enforcing CITES rules.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Apr 28, 2011 #67

    gonewild

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    Maybe they are a signator but they are not listed on the CITES website as such. at least not on the page I checked, But then why would CITES update their webpage?
     
  8. Apr 28, 2011 #68

    quietaustralian

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    The Republic of China (Taiwan) isn’t a party to the convention that’s why you won’t find the ROC on the membership list or contacts page. The ROC is able to issue import/export certs because they have referred to CITES in their legislation. As per Article X of the Convention

    Trade with States not Party to the Convention​
    Where export or re-export is to, or import is from, a State not a Party to the present Convention, comparable documentation issued by the competent authorities in that State which substantially conforms with the requirements of the present Convention for permits and certificates may be accepted in lieu thereof by any Party.

    A number of flow charts can be found on the CITES website which show the structure of the organisation, personnel in the secretariat and their roles.
    If you read the text of the convention you will find the following in Article IX:

    Management and Scientific Authorities ​
    1. Each Party shall designate for the purposes of the present Convention:
    (a) one or more Management Authorities competent to grant permits or certificates on behalf of that Party; and
    (b) one or more Scientific Authorities.
    2. A State depositing an instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession shall at that time inform the Depositary Government of the name and address of the Management Authority authorized to communicate with other Parties and with the Secretariat.
    3. Any changes in the designations or authorizations under the provisions of this Article shall be communicated by the Party concerned to the Secretariat for transmission to all other Parties.
    4. Any Management Authority referred to in paragraph 2 of this Article shall, if so requested by the Secretariat or the Management Authority of another Party, communicate to it impression of stamps, seals or other devices used to authenticate permits or certificates.

    The Scientific Authorities don’t concern us because we are interested in the people who issue the permits, the management authorities eg.
    Thailand
    Department of Agriculture
    Plant Varieties Protection Division
    International Trade of Plants under the Conventions Sub-division

    Australia
    Wildlife Branch
    Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities

    USA
    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
    Division of Management Authority

    Japan
    Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau
    Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)

    UK
    Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
    Bio-diversity Programme

    I haven’t listed all the management authorities for each country. Some countries will have the management authority role split between a number of government departments eg fauna/flora/fisheries.

    Regards, Mick
     
  9. Apr 29, 2011 #69

    KyushuCalanthe

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  10. Apr 29, 2011 #70

    Howzat

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    Brett and Mick.
    Those are interesting. Thanks
    To Tom : WOW that article by Neil Caroll is great. He has clearly defined what is good and what is bad with CITES. And how we can change (though it could be near impossible). Perhaps the paphiopedilum alliance group and enthusiasts could learn a lot from him. First thing is to make sure that habitats are protected (there are lots of signatory countries who allow the destruction of rain forrests where plant species live. CITES does not prohibit the destruction of rain forest and this is, what is so wrong with CITES. Second give the seed and flasks freedom of movement. Third, allow the rescue of plants that were left to die in the clearing of habitat. Fourth, stop any raids on nurseries if they do not know how to look after the plants and if they are not transparent enough where the plants are transported and looked after. Fifth, maybe we should recruit Neil, or at least consult him. He has lots of experience with CITES for Cycads!!!!!
     
  11. Apr 29, 2011 #71

    quietaustralian

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    Howard,
    A very good start in solving the problem . If you do a search for CITES in this forum you’ll get 15 pages of results. Although I haven’t read them all, many are just people complaining about CITES and in some cases complaining about things that don’t relate to CITES but attributing the blame to CITES. Some people say that CITES can’t be changed, whining won’t change anything, only action will.

    History has shown that CITES has been changed and amendments made. In the article that Tom provided a link to, there is mention of Dennis Stevenson who is credited with pushing for change and achieving it.

    In trying to make changes in any organisation one must understand the organisation and its structure. There is no point pursuing change in an organisation that isn’t responsible for those things you wish to change.

    Understanding the organisation structure will assist in presenting your case to the correct entity in the organisation.

    CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) is an international agreement between governments. The key words in the CITES acronym are International and Trade.

    CiTES plays no role in the internal wildlife affairs of a sovereign state unless it relates to international trade. It’s the responsibility of the state to manage its wildlife, sometimes with the assistance of other UN agencies, NGOs and other organisations. Should you wish to affect the in situ conservation of a species, you’d have to lobby the organisations just mentioned.

    The convention text doesn’t mention fines, jail terms or other forms of prosecution for breaches of the convention. The CITES secretariat doesn’t have a police force. Member states are responsible for enforcing the convention and any prosecutions resulting from breaches eg Australia would prosecute an offender under Australian law.


    I’d suggest that if you’re interested in making changes, some of the following be considered:

    Visit the CITES website, read the convention text and discover the structure and limitations of CITES.

    Reach consensus on what changes should be made. The proposal should be limited to matters that relate to CITES. There is no point saying that CITES should do more to protect species in situ, that’s not within CITES mandate.

    Gather evidence to support the proposal.

    Form alliances with other organisations that have the same or similar objectives. As Howard suggests, it may be wise to contact people like Dennis Stevenson.

    Lobby the appropriate entity or entities. Who we lobby will depend on the proposal being put forward.

    Regards, Mick
     
  12. Apr 29, 2011 #72

    Braem

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    Sorry Mick, but I must grin when I read your post. Obviously you still believe in the great pumpkin.
    Just to add a FACT: since CITES was inforced NOTHING good came of it ... and honestly, I don't understand how someone who is in to orchids can see ANYTHING good in a law (and it side regulations) that have made the legal culture of slipper orchid SPECIES very difficult and in some cases even impossible.
     
  13. Apr 29, 2011 #73

    Rick

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    As I've mentioned in previous posts, I saw (and was part of) several captive breeding programs for non-plant organisms (ranging from fish to rhinos) in public zoo's and aquariums that were put together with CITES blessings.

    One of the fish programs was so successful in over producing in the public aquarium sector that release into the hobbiest sector was neccessary.

    I rarely see the level of cooperation and organization among orchid breeders to develop a large stable population of captive produced plants before release to the general hobbiest/commercial market.

    Normally its a big race to get the novel species, and then control the release of offspring to generate highest profit (at least until recoup of initial import costs). Note some of the hoops that OL had to go through before releasing kovachii plants to the general public. Kovachii looks to be one of the most cooperative programs that I've seen to date, but I don't know if anyone will make enough money to say it was worth it from a commercial standpoint.

    But breeders in the US know just as well as their foreign counterparts that within a few years of release to the hobby sector, that any novel / high priced species will have the snot bred out of it over the next 5 years, deflating value (and demand within the hobby). I'm currious now that legal kovachii are available in the country if the demand is as high as when they were illegal, and is there a backlog of unsold plants at profitable prices.
     
  14. Apr 29, 2011 #74

    Shiva

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    CITEs reminds me of the Old time roman catholic church making a sin of sex outside marriage. Need I say more? :)
     
  15. Apr 30, 2011 #75
    I think that part of the problem is that CITES originated mainly with animals in mind. I think that in many cases it has benefited animals. Plants are so different though, in their patterns of trade and methods of propagation, that CITES doesn't work for them. Maybe (this is very wishful thinking....and I'm sure that it will give Guido a very big laugh) an alternative to CITES could be constructed that applies only to plants, and can take all the various situations and contingincies involved with plants...and leave the animals only to CITES.
     
  16. Apr 30, 2011 #76

    cnycharles

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    people's choices don't make a true thing wrong, or wrong things right, just because they choose to ignore ... the entity in question didn't make something a sin, they pointed out what was told to them. cites is just a collection of do-gooders who didn't think things through before they ran forward making laws. good intentions without good preparation and common sense don't equal good laws (just a lot of knees-jerking, like most things that happen in modern times - reactionary)
     
  17. Apr 30, 2011 #77

    Rick

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    There's lots of gripes among the animal folk too. It really focuses on the size and fecundity of the species in question. Many fish, reptiles, amphibians can really crank out a ton of offspring fast that can reach sexual maturity in just a few months to years (not that different from orchids). On the other hand Galapagos tortoises, mountain gorillas, rhinos, and certain tropical tree species are big, slow to reach maturity, and don't often produce a lot of viable offspring per reproductive event. The CITES listed tree species are generally not collected live for ornamental or hobby purposes, mostly just felled for exotic timber. So those plant species are more comparable to the "charismatic megavertebrates" that generally get all the endangered species press.
     
  18. Apr 30, 2011 #78

    Howzat

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    If I can sum it up:
    1. CITES was intended for conservation purposes.
    2. It has not, does not and will not go in parallel with conservation
    3. Most countries signed as a signatory to CITES so that they can be seen favourably as pro conservation.
    4. But take a look at say Brazil and Indonesia (and many others). Both had vast areas of tropical rain forest that was the habitat of thousands of plant species and animals. But both had their rain forest allowed to be decimated by logging and then turned them into plantation, mining and agriculture. Kalimantan (Indonesia)has its rain forest reduced to 10% of its original. How many plant species have been destroyed as well as animals???? Yet they think by enforcing CITES law they feel that they are pro conservation??? CITES does not save the habitat. But CITES is being used by countries or individuals to promote their tarnished image of the REAL conservation.
    5. In this sense CITES has failed its intention (controlling cross border trades) as a pro conservation law.
    6. So what can we do??? If there is another attempt to promote conservation, then a new international body should be set up and promote conservation based on saving the habitat. Countries who encourage decimating habitat should not be allowed to be member, before they can show its forests are being protected. In the mean time they can be included in a shame list.
     
  19. Apr 30, 2011 #79

    Braem

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    I originally also thought that CITES was good for the animals. But what happened ... all big cats are VERY endangered (not mainly by hunting, but maintly by habitat destruction); elephants are also endangered in some placed for the same reasons, in other placed they are overpopulated and have to be shot down again; aligators in Florida are crawling around Miami ... etc. etc. Thus the conclusion is: CITES is good for NOTHING, and even worse ... it ENDANGERS that what it is supposed to protect. What we need is a law that stops habitat destruction ... and that law will never be passed for many reasons ...
     
  20. Apr 30, 2011 #80

    Rick

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    Now in all these places you mention there are vestigial government parks/forests. Granted these are tiny and under funded. However the fragments of literature I see coming from these locations indicate that the orchids in these sites are under threat of poaching. Surprisingly (to me) P sukhakulii (probably one of the most common and prolific species in collections) appears to be down to a tiny protected population in a Thai state forest. The park rangers won't disclose locations of plants. But in the US you can hardly give nursery produced plants away.

    So how can consumers of wildlife in foreign countries support conservation of habitat in the countries of origin?

    Maybe the real issue is not CITES but recognizing that people are eating the planet alive, how can we achieve interglobal cooperation to protect habitat.
     

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