How Digitalization Will Curb Illicit Trade In Endangered Species

Hoas

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Why more countries should adopt digitalization to curb illicit trade in
CITES SG Ivonne Higuero & UNCTAD Director of Technology and Logistics Shamika N. Sirimanne
endangered species

As the final week of the World Wildlife Conference, in Panama, gets under way, CITES Secretary-General Ivonne Higuero and UNCTAD’s Director of Technology and Logistics Shamika N. Sirimanne are calling for wider use of digital technologies to help conserve the planet's endangered species.



Earlier this year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on world leaders to end the "senseless and suicidal war against nature".

Technological advancements have now created solutions to help stop this war and improve the humanity’s relationship with the natural world. Digital technology exists to help us knowing what is happening in the world and making better informed decisions about how-to live-in harmony our rich but delicate ecosystems.

Take wildlife trade for example. Much has changed since the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) came into force in the early 1970s to prevent the world’s wildlife species from going into extinction. Back then, many people were unaware of many of the species in faraway places, or how their purchasing decisions may have reverberating effects on them.

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Tom Leoni

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I have very mixed thoughts about CITES and no positive thoughts at all about the UN--just see the hyperbolic and hysterical wording of Gutierrez's "warning."

Unfortunately, CITES and its sister organizations are bureaucracies populated by too many feel-good, telescopic-charity types who don't really have the best interest of wildlife at heart. These only want to "make a difference" by attaching their name to yet another ban and then brag about it at cocktail parties. And the slowness with which they grant import permits suggests to me that a lot of their unofficial mission consists precisely in harassing hunters just because they think the activity is icky and passe'.

Case in point 1: we all know that rampant government corruption is at the root of much of the poaching in African countries, post-1977 Kenya being a shining example. Yet, little of that is addressed, while people like me must go through 2 years' worth of paperwork to import a 1950s piano from Europe into the US.

Case in point 2: these organizations are largely silent about the push to alter land use to feed the world's population on plant-based food. Since they view this as a noble cause, they don't even bother to address the effect this would have on wildlife, megafauna first and foremost.

Furthermore, voting rules within CITES are rigged to the detriment of African nations (i.e., those most impacted by the decisions) and--surprise surprise--to the advantage of American members, too many of whom are animal-right extremists.

I'm not saying CITES is a scam and they don't do some good work. But until I see these various elephants in the room :cool: addressed, I will keep siding with people like Ron Thomson who views it as a deeply-flawed organization staffed by too many zealots whose unofficial mission is to eventually ban trophy hunting (whatever that means) and all animal uses by man.
 
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1dirthawker

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i can tell you now that a digital permitting seems to make sense but i suspect it will be a way to disallow hunters. what permit can you not digitize now and then e mail, text or fax to another agency, regardless of the country?

digital permits will be tied to other data bases, like your political calling, your financial situation, your voting record or stance on guns or religion etc and you will then be decided whether or not the permit agency will decide if you are worthy to be allowed to purchase said permit.

i think it is a really, really bad idea. much like digital currency, i think it is mostly about control.
 

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