Wednesday 12 December 2012

Parallel Problem: "Wildlife Trade has Reached New Heights of Destruction and Depravity"

Where have we seen all this before? 
The global illegal trade in wildlife is worth $19bn (£12bn) a year and is threatening the stability of some governments according to new research. Carried out for conservation group WWF, a report highlights a "new wave" of organised wildlife crime by armed groups operating across borders. It says funds from trafficking are being used to finance civil conflicts [...].  According to Jim Leape, WWF International director general, the report underlines the fact that wildlife crime has escalated drastically over the past decade and now posed a greater threat than ever.  "This is about much more than wildlife," he told a news conference. "This crisis is threatening the very stability of governments. It has become a profound threat to national security."  [...] The report [...]  says that two factors were spurring the growth of the trade. The first was the absence of credible law enforcement and other deterrents that reduced the risk to organised criminal groups. The second was increased accessibility of illegal products via the internet.
There is some really upsetting news about the ivory trade, reportedly up to 30,000 elephants a year are still being killed to fuel demand driven largely by China, and no part of Africa is now safe for them. Will Travers, chief executive of Born Free Foundation, is quoted as saying: "The bloody ivory trade has reached new heights of destruction and depravity in 2012.". A seizure of 20 tonnes of ivory being smuggled from Togo to China (disguised as stacks of wood) is quoted, one of the biggest in history. The article suggest that: "capturing that many tusks at one time is a rare piece of good news for those involved in the fight against trafficking". The only "good news" would be if all those involved in accumulating and shipping the stuff were already locked up, those they'd bouth the stuff from were locked up with them, and those at the other end of the trail who'd paid it and were waiting for their order were rotting in a Chinese jailwith their assets conficated and their computers being examined for information who'd been buying similar stuff from them in the past. The newspaper says nothing about that merely that one shipment had been stopped. Unless the network is shattered, at this moment poachers are out there working for the middlemen trying to fulfil the missing shipment.  

Matt McGrath (Environment correspondent), 'Wildlife crime profound threat to nations, says report', BBC News 12 December 2012

 Hat tip to Nigel Swift

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