- April 18, 2020
CITES, SUSTAINABLE USE, AND THE IVORY TRADE
CITES,SUSTAINABLE USE, AND THE IVORY TRADE
Ivorytrade has been in existence for many years and dates back to the 19thcentury, where people have drawn economic gain from exchanging itwith others who need to make drugs and piano keys from the product.As a result, the activity has led to a significant reduction ofelephants around the world, as people seek to make more money fromthe same. Pressure from various animal rights groups andenvironmentalists led to the official ban on the practice by manygovernments in 2002. Since then, stringent measures have been put toensure that it does not take place (Lemieux & Ronald 2009, 462).There are also various international bodies such as Interpol that areinvolved in taking enforcement actions towards the now illegal trade.
Theprotection of elephants stems from agreements made in the CITEStreaty that calls for the preservation of endangered species. It wasestablished by member countries that are signatory to the treaty thatabout 40, 000 elephants are killed each year due to poaching that isaimed at obtaining ivory to be used for trade (Barbier et al., 64).There are also indications that in spite of extreme measures that areput up to reduce the extent of poaching for elephants, there stillexists a huge gap, especially, given the fact that there was aprecedent increase in cases illegal poaching of elephants between theyears 2006 and 2011.However, the cases reduced quite significantlybetween 2011 to 2015. However, the figures are still high. The needto put in proper actions to deal with the problem is quite crucial,especially because illegal poaching ranks fourth among the mostlucrative transnational crimes. It is also worth more than US$ 20million and, therefore, offers a huge threat to internationalsecurity because most of the money obtained from such activity couldend up being used for purposes that are harmful to populations(Lemieux & Ronald 2009, 460).
Researchersalso indicate that the cases of reduction in populations ofElephants, especially in Africa are due to the wiping out of forestcover that normally acts as a habitat for the animals. The case isquite serious, given that in the last ten years alone since 2007, theforest cover of Africa has reduced by about 70%. Perhaps the oneaspect that acts as a huge challenge towards dealing with the problemof ivory trade is that there still exists some small window thatpermits it to some level. The provision is made in the CITES AppendixII that allows some countries to allow controlled ivory trade. Thecase, therefore, allows countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe,Namibia and Botswana to engage in the trade. The major trouble withsuch action is that it allows the opportunity for other players whomay be interested to take part in the illegal trade to come in(Lemieux & Ronald 2009, 460).
Issueto be addressed by policy makers
Itis important for the various stakeholders to put their head togetherand aim to come up with decisions and actions that are bound to bringin lots of benefits regarding achieving control of the illegal ivorytrade. As such, global leaders and agencies tasked with fighting theivory trade need to push for a complete ban on the trade by anycountry as well as companies using tasks to make the products. Withthe achievement of the process, it shall be quite easy for regulatorybodies to put their focus on reducing the trade quite successfully asthey shall not have anyone to spare in the process. The process, is,however, quite challenging, given the high levels of interests thatare reserved by various governments in the trade of ivory(Muchingur-Kashiri 2016, 1).
Twoways of addressing the issue of controlled poaching
Oneof the ways through which various bodies may help deal with theproblem of controlled poaching by some countries could be throughpushing for the harmonization of existing stipulations found in theCITES treaty. They could, therefore, call for the removal of AppendixII of the treaty that allows some countries to take part in thetrade. In such a case, the countries that are allowed to participatein the trade will lose the freedom to take part in the said trade asit shall be deemed completely illegal to them (Baldus & Michel2011, 57).
Theyshall, therefore, need to come up with the ratification of theirlocal laws to be in line with the provisions of the treaty so as toavoid a case whereby there will be a clash in the laws and call formisinterpretation. The achievement of such a process will beeffective through carrying out proper lobbying among variousentities, which shall compel governments in these countries to adhereto the rules put across. Another measure that would be quiteeffective could be through the use of a technical strategy. Itmajorly touches on the application of skills provided by people whoare well versed in the problem of poaching and the ramifications thatare brought about by the activity. These parties would preparespecial reports to countries that are involved in the business ofivory trade (Baldus & Michel 2011, 58).
Mostimportant uncertainties or controversies
Thereare various uncertainties or controversies associated with dealingwith the problem of elephant poaching. One of them lies in the viewsheld by many parties that persons who normally take part in theillegal trade are normally those that have strong ties to topgovernment persons from important countries. It is normally difficultto deal with the problem more effectively as these governments couldfail to release proper reports that are aimed at showing the specificpeople involved in the trade and the effect that they may have in theprocess. These elements that take part in the trade are also said toreceive protection from the government and, therefore, frustrateefforts that are put up by enforcement agencies to help deal with theproblem with the aim of totally eradicating the vice (Abensperg-Traun2009, 952).
Strengthand one weakness of each approach
Thestrategies suggested that could help to deal with the problem of somemember parties of CITES taking part in the ivory trade have theirshare of strengths and weaknesses. The call for the scrapping ofAppendix II of CITES has the advantage of making member countrieshave the idea that the trade is wrong. Such parties, therefore, aimto take actions that are geared towards the protection of elephants.The main weakness of the strategy is that the said member countriescould threaten to pull out of the agreement and, therefore, hamperthe major aim of dealing with illegal poaching (Barbier et al., 64).The strength of the use of technocrats to explain to member countrieson the importance of dealing with illegal poaching is that thecountries shall have the capacity to address the problem moreeffectively. The weakness of the method is that the member countriescould fail to take the technocrats seriously.
TheCITES treaty that was put up was quite efficient in dealing with theproblem of illegal poaching conducted by some parties (Barbier etal., 65). As such, it would help ensure that the number of elephantsaround the world is sustained and even continue to grow. There is,therefore, the need for member countries affiliated with the treatyto take actions to adhere to its provisions without having the needto seek for preference.
Abensperg-Traun,M. 2009. CITES, sustainable use of wild species and incentive-drivenconservation in developing countries, with an emphasis on SouthernAfrica. BiologicalConservation 142 (5):948-963.
Baldus,R. D., and S. Michel. 2011. What does CITES mean for an African orCentral Asian village? Some experiences from Tanzania and Tajikistan.In CITES and CBNRM:Proceedings of an International Symposium on the Relevance of CBNRMto the Conservation and Sustainable Use of CITES-listed Species inExporting Countries,eds. M. Abensperg-Traun, D. Roe, and C. O’Criodain, 51-58.Vienna,Austria, May 18-20. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN and London, UK: IIED.
Barbier,E.B., Burgess, J.C., Swanson, T.M. and Pearce, D.W., 2013. Elephants,economics and ivory (Vol.3). Routledge. 53-65
Lemieux,Andrew M., and Ronald V. Clarke. 2009. The international ban on ivorysales and its effects on elephant poaching in Africa." BritishJournal of Criminology 49,no. 4: 451-471.
Muchingur-Kashiri,O. 2016. The case for Zimbabwe. Southern Times Africa, Aug. 29. .http://southernafrican.news/2016/08/29/the-case-for-zimbabwe/(accessed Oct. 1, 2016). 1-9