Time for an African to be CITES secretary general

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By Emmanuel Koro

Johannesburg - The secretary general of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES), Australia-born John Scanlon, has announced that he will be resigning in April 2018.

Pro-sustainable use environmentalists worldwide, including CITES former secretary general Eugene Lapointe, have greeted the news of Scanlon’s resignation with a call for the appointment of a well-qualified African, as new CITES secretary general. Historical records of CITES personnel show that no one from the African continent has ever been appointed as secretary general.

Since the Convention came into force 43 years ago in 1975, Europeans, a Canadian and an Australian have monopolised the leadership at CITES. Yet most of its work has focused on endangered fauna and flora in Africa and Asia. Therefore, according to Lapointe, “Scanlon’s resignation provides the ideal moment to correct this historical imbalance which has provoked increasing conflict over the past few years.”

Announcing his decision in a CITES press statement released on 7 February 2018, Scanlon said:

“After serving for eight years as secretary-general of the CITES Secretariat (and three years with the UN Environment Programme in Nairobi prior to that) I will soon be completing my mandate with the Convention and taking up my next career challenge.”

“We have made extraordinary strides in the fight against illegal wildlife trade, including through the International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime, and we are seeing tangible results from our collective efforts. Amongst many other successes, one can name; bringing more marine and timber species under CITES, new initiatives with the technology, tourism and transport sectors, reaching out to rural communities and the youth, and 3 March being declared as UN World Wildlife Day.”

Scanlon’s final day will be 6 April 2018.

How will the next secretary-general of CITES be appointed?

Scanlon said since mid-January 2018, he had been working very closely with the executive director of the UN Environment Programme, his chief of staff, and the chair of the CITES Standing Committee towards ensuring a smooth transition to a successor.

“We are working together to ensure the recruitment process is conducted expeditiously and in a way that respects UN personnel rules and the memorandum of understanding between the CITES Standing Committee and the executive director, which was agreed to and signed in 2011,” said the outgoing CITES Secretary General.

Scanlon leaves CITES at a time when the organisation is fast-losing credibility, as it is increasingly seen by pro-sustainable environmentalists worldwide as having been captured by animal rights groups who continue to sponsor votes to ban regulated trade in fauna and flora and their products, even where it is scientifically justified. The credibility-threatening development within CITES has earned the CITES Secretariat and its animal rights sponsors the bad image of exercising authority without responsibility.

CITES and animal rights groups are also busy shutting down ivory markets in China, Japan and the United States using the illogical ban-trade-in-wildlife products-to-stop-poaching approach.

These suspicious developments have continued to anger conservationists from Southern Africa and Asia, in particular. They are now exploring possibilities to pull out of CITES and start their own trading partnerships with countries that want to buy their ivory and rhino horn. An economist or anyone who honestly wants to tell the truth knows that to ban trade in any commodity does not stop but only increases its market demand.

The rhino horn trade ban and ivory trade ban are no exception.

Also, many people wonder how one can stop the Chinese, Americans and Japanese from their tradition of consuming and using ivory and rhino horn products. Can one honestly ban the consumption of burgers in America and everyone would listen? The future will confound those who are peddling such lies about ivory and rhino horn trade bans helping to stop poaching.

They always talk about animals and do not talk about socio-economic costs to African elephant and rhino range states and rural communities living side by side with these iconic species. No wonder why they are called animal rights because they do not balance the needs of people with those of wildlife.

For them and CITES, which they are increasingly capturing, animal rights are more important than human rights.

It is small wonder that calls for the appointment an African CITES secretary general have coincided with Scanlon’s announcement that he would step down in April 2018.

The thinking is that an African CITES secretary general might be sympathetic to the needs of the continent and its wildlife and [not] focus exclusively on wildlife needs as is increasingly happening in CITES presently.

The UN Environment Programme executive director, who is responsible for the recruitment process, will present three or more names to the UN Secretary-General, one of which must be a male and one must be a woman.

The executive director will be guided by the UN personnel rules, which will include advertising the position and establishing an assessment panel to interview short-listed candidates and recommend suitably qualified candidates to the UN Secretary-General. - Emmanuel Koro is an international award-winning environmental journalist who has written extensively on environment and development issues in Africa
 

CAustin

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Thank you for sharing the announcement and call for an African to become Sec. General. I should think that it’s about time that someone from Africa take on this leadership role.
 

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This situation presents both an opportunity and a threat.

It is easy for those of us on an African hunting forum to want an African to be selected to head up CITES, but there are at least two reasons why this may not be a good idea, or may not be popular:

1. Africa is anything but uniform when it comes to the use of wildlife, be it sustainable or otherwise. One only has to look at the last CITES meetings to see that those African countries which are in favour of sustainable use are often attacked and outvoted by coalitions led by other African countries, notably, but not solely, Kenya or Botswana. There can be little doubt that some African countries have been 'captured' by animal rights activists, who have substantial resources (that means money) to deploy, whether properly or not, in their quest for CITES dominance, and that those countries are used to lead the charge against other African countries, to make the attacks seem more palatable to the West.

I can think of no worse outcome than to get a new Secretary-General who is African, thus lending a patina of African involvement to the process, while getting someone who is, or whose government is, in the pocket of radical animal rights groups. Then we would be facing the new cry - "well, CITES supports the ban and it's run by an African." Not good.

2. We look at CITES through our lens as African hunters. Much of what CITES does relates to flora and fauna outside of Africa. I'm not sure what the proportions are, but we can't assume that because we care about hunting African wildlife, that that should be on the top of the CITES agenda. Of the many resolutions put forward at the last CITES meeting in Jo'burg, most had nothing to do with African animals.

I have absolutely no doubt that the animal rights activists are getting their ducks in a row and will have a short list of people they would find acceptable. The key here - because this is a United Nations organization - will be to have countries pushing for the candidate you prefer. My fear - and I hope I'm wrong - is that the opponents of sustainable use have more countries on their side than we do. That means that organizations such as Conservation Force, the True Green Alliance and, yes, even SCI, should be looking at this situation and determining how best to help those countries whose agenda we would support, such as Namibia, or South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among others.

I would not default to Africa though. I would default to someone who takes a sensible view of sustainable use, and of community involvement in CITES decisions. Those are the factors which will tilt the balance, not the place of origin of the new SG.
 

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I would default to someone who takes a sensible view of sustainable use, and of community involvement in CITES decisions. Those are the factors which will tilt the balance, not the place of origin of the new SG.

:D Beers:
 

edward

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african countries that posses wild life that is affected by cities are always out voted by the countries that dont and are controlled by the anties.the countries that have the wild life to worry about should resign from cities and manage their wild life that they are familiar with.we dictate to africa about their wild life is like africa telling texas how to manage deer.
 

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I have absolutely no doubt that the animal rights activists are getting their ducks in a row and will have a short list of people they would find acceptable. The key here - because this is a United Nations organization - will be to have countries pushing for the candidate you prefer. My fear - and I hope I'm wrong - is that the opponents of sustainable use have more countries on their side than we do. That means that organizations such as Conservation Force, the True Green Alliance and, yes, even SCI, should be looking at this situation and determining how best to help those countries whose agenda we would support, such as Namibia, or South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among others.

Agree here, but if a strong African interest is passed up now, could it not do more harm than good?
 

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https://www.herald.co.zw/rural-communities-join-call-for-african-cites-secretary-general/


Rural communities join call for african cites secretary-general

Emmanuel Koro



African rural communities and the world’s biggest rhino producer have joined calls for the replacement of the outgoing Secretary-General of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) with a qualified African candidate.

Amid passionate appeals to have an African head, the Geneva-based CITES Secretariat for the first time since its establishment in 1975, issues of CITES racist and colonial wildlife management approaches have begun to surface.

“I am not a racist to support the need for the appointment of an African Secretary-General,” said acting Chief Mvuthu Bishop Matata Sibanda of Hwange rural.

“I do so in view of the CITES’ 43-year failure to listen to African people’s wildlife conservation needs. CITES failed to consider the option for sustainable use of wildlife through legal trade in ivory and rhino horn, for example.

“Instead CITES opted for ivory trade and rhino horn trade bans and lately senselessly shutting down ivory markets worldwide. This approach has not and will never solve African’s wildlife management problems such as poaching.

‘‘Therefore, I support the call to replace the outgoing CITES Secretary-General by a qualified African. We want a CITES Secretary General who can seriously consider sustainable use of wildlife products as a solution to Africa’s wildlife conservation problems.”

There are growing concerns and fears that without an African head of CITES, there will be a continuation of what some have described as “racist and colonial wildlife management approaches that do not benefit elephant and rhino conservation in Africa.”

“The CITES Secretariat has been led from its outset by white men from rich countries, some of whom acted like the famous European colonialists of the 19th century,” said Godfrey Harris, managing director of the United States-based Ivory Education Institute (IEI).

Mr Harris said CITES continues to be influenced by Western elites who attempt to fool the world that trade bans in such wildlife products as ivory and rhino horns would help save elephants and rhinos from destruction. Sadly, CITES does not admit that such trade bans promote, instead of stopping, poaching.

To hide its failure, “CITES tells the media that it did not fail, just lacked the right mix and amount of resources (cash) to succeed. Fortunately, we are at the stage when no one is going to be fooled by CITES anymore.

“The animal rights NGOs, in concert with major Western countries, see all wild animals of Africa in danger and their habitats being destroyed. On the other hand, the African people yearn for a way to improve their dire economic conditions through sustainable use of their wildlife. An African Secretary General of CITES will see this problem, feel the frustration and be motivated to solve it with new and different ideas,” said Mr Harris.

The world’s largest rhino breeder, South Africa-based John Hume, has thrown his support behind the worldwide calls for a qualified African CITES Secretary General.

Mr Hume’s 1 540 white rhinos are more than the entire rhino population of Kenya and that of Uganda with not more than 13 rhinos.

“I certainly think that this is essential (appointment of a qualified African CITES Secretary General) for African wildlife as well as possibly for the future of CITES because as we know there are quite a few African countries that are unhappy with CITES and I don’t think that the purpose of CITES would be furthered by the revolt of certain African countries.”

The Southern African elephant populations, particularly those in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, have grown to unprecedented levels, threatening to collapse both their ecosystem and die en masse. Southern African countries have more than enough elephants for the available habitat. Therefore, the ongoing CITES animal rights-sponsored ban on ivory trade is as unjustified as it is unscientific. It is insensitive to the needs of poor African countries and their rural communities.

Meanwhile, human-wildlife conflict has impacted negatively on Southern African communities’ socio-economic wellbeing. Without benefits from the elephant, poor African rural communities regard it as a nuisance and are forced to collaborate with poachers to kill it for meat and small bonuses that they get for working with poachers.

“Any ban has simply created a monopoly for criminals and it is important that we reverse this effect and let communities and honest people gain from our wildlife,” said Hume who has over 6 000 stockpiled rhino horns that he cannot trade because of the ongoing CITES rhino horn trade ban.

“Natural mortalities in elephants across Africa alone could supply a substantial income for rural Africa if they were allowed to trade in ivory legally and it would certainly not affect poaching adversely as at the moment we have handed the poachers a monopoly in the trade of ivory.

‘‘Similarly, with rhino the horn from natural mortalities as well as private rhino owners regularly trimming their rhino horns (which is at any rate essential to protect them against poachers) could supply a sustainable income and hopefully in the future spread rhino ownership and income to our rural communities in Africa.”

The Hwange Rural District Council ecologist, Mr Xolelani Ncube, said that an African CITES Secretary-General was needed in order “to understand all the dynamics and act in a manner that benefits communities in Africa in a sustainable manner.”

Mr Ncube said; “Anything for us (Africans) without us is not for us. We truly believe and know that world is now a global village but management and conservation of a natural resource base starts with those who are in touch or in the interface with the said resource.”

Despite CITES’s need to find a quick replacement for the outgoing Australian-born John Scanlon, the CITES Secretariat has yet to advertise on the CITES Secretariat website as of 21 February 2018. A former employee of UNEP who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that judging by what happened in the past, the CITES Secretary-General job advert would be a formality to sanitize the appointment process.

“By the time they post the advert on the CITES Secretariat website, UNEP, that is responsible for the appointment, would have already shortlisted its three preferred candidates,” said the source, dampening the public expectations that the hiring process would be fair.

Mr Hume thinks that if CITES does not heed the call to appoint an African CITES Secretary-General “it would exacerbate the unhappiness of certain African countries in their dealings with CITES. “

  • Emmanuel Koro is an internat
 

edward

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https://www.herald.co.zw/rural-communities-join-call-for-african-cites-secretary-general/


Rural communities join call for african cites secretary-general

Emmanuel Koro



African rural communities and the world’s biggest rhino producer have joined calls for the replacement of the outgoing Secretary-General of the UN Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora (CITES) with a qualified African candidate.

Amid passionate appeals to have an African head, the Geneva-based CITES Secretariat for the first time since its establishment in 1975, issues of CITES racist and colonial wildlife management approaches have begun to surface.

“I am not a racist to support the need for the appointment of an African Secretary-General,” said acting Chief Mvuthu Bishop Matata Sibanda of Hwange rural.

“I do so in view of the CITES’ 43-year failure to listen to African people’s wildlife conservation needs. CITES failed to consider the option for sustainable use of wildlife through legal trade in ivory and rhino horn, for example.

“Instead CITES opted for ivory trade and rhino horn trade bans and lately senselessly shutting down ivory markets worldwide. This approach has not and will never solve African’s wildlife management problems such as poaching.

‘‘Therefore, I support the call to replace the outgoing CITES Secretary-General by a qualified African. We want a CITES Secretary General who can seriously consider sustainable use of wildlife products as a solution to Africa’s wildlife conservation problems.”

There are growing concerns and fears that without an African head of CITES, there will be a continuation of what some have described as “racist and colonial wildlife management approaches that do not benefit elephant and rhino conservation in Africa.”

“The CITES Secretariat has been led from its outset by white men from rich countries, some of whom acted like the famous European colonialists of the 19th century,” said Godfrey Harris, managing director of the United States-based Ivory Education Institute (IEI).

Mr Harris said CITES continues to be influenced by Western elites who attempt to fool the world that trade bans in such wildlife products as ivory and rhino horns would help save elephants and rhinos from destruction. Sadly, CITES does not admit that such trade bans promote, instead of stopping, poaching.

To hide its failure, “CITES tells the media that it did not fail, just lacked the right mix and amount of resources (cash) to succeed. Fortunately, we are at the stage when no one is going to be fooled by CITES anymore.

“The animal rights NGOs, in concert with major Western countries, see all wild animals of Africa in danger and their habitats being destroyed. On the other hand, the African people yearn for a way to improve their dire economic conditions through sustainable use of their wildlife. An African Secretary General of CITES will see this problem, feel the frustration and be motivated to solve it with new and different ideas,” said Mr Harris.

The world’s largest rhino breeder, South Africa-based John Hume, has thrown his support behind the worldwide calls for a qualified African CITES Secretary General.

Mr Hume’s 1 540 white rhinos are more than the entire rhino population of Kenya and that of Uganda with not more than 13 rhinos.

“I certainly think that this is essential (appointment of a qualified African CITES Secretary General) for African wildlife as well as possibly for the future of CITES because as we know there are quite a few African countries that are unhappy with CITES and I don’t think that the purpose of CITES would be furthered by the revolt of certain African countries.”

The Southern African elephant populations, particularly those in Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa, have grown to unprecedented levels, threatening to collapse both their ecosystem and die en masse. Southern African countries have more than enough elephants for the available habitat. Therefore, the ongoing CITES animal rights-sponsored ban on ivory trade is as unjustified as it is unscientific. It is insensitive to the needs of poor African countries and their rural communities.

Meanwhile, human-wildlife conflict has impacted negatively on Southern African communities’ socio-economic wellbeing. Without benefits from the elephant, poor African rural communities regard it as a nuisance and are forced to collaborate with poachers to kill it for meat and small bonuses that they get for working with poachers.

“Any ban has simply created a monopoly for criminals and it is important that we reverse this effect and let communities and honest people gain from our wildlife,” said Hume who has over 6 000 stockpiled rhino horns that he cannot trade because of the ongoing CITES rhino horn trade ban.

“Natural mortalities in elephants across Africa alone could supply a substantial income for rural Africa if they were allowed to trade in ivory legally and it would certainly not affect poaching adversely as at the moment we have handed the poachers a monopoly in the trade of ivory.

‘‘Similarly, with rhino the horn from natural mortalities as well as private rhino owners regularly trimming their rhino horns (which is at any rate essential to protect them against poachers) could supply a sustainable income and hopefully in the future spread rhino ownership and income to our rural communities in Africa.”

The Hwange Rural District Council ecologist, Mr Xolelani Ncube, said that an African CITES Secretary-General was needed in order “to understand all the dynamics and act in a manner that benefits communities in Africa in a sustainable manner.”

Mr Ncube said; “Anything for us (Africans) without us is not for us. We truly believe and know that world is now a global village but management and conservation of a natural resource base starts with those who are in touch or in the interface with the said resource.”

Despite CITES’s need to find a quick replacement for the outgoing Australian-born John Scanlon, the CITES Secretariat has yet to advertise on the CITES Secretariat website as of 21 February 2018. A former employee of UNEP who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that judging by what happened in the past, the CITES Secretary-General job advert would be a formality to sanitize the appointment process.

“By the time they post the advert on the CITES Secretariat website, UNEP, that is responsible for the appointment, would have already shortlisted its three preferred candidates,” said the source, dampening the public expectations that the hiring process would be fair.

Mr Hume thinks that if CITES does not heed the call to appoint an African CITES Secretary-General “it would exacerbate the unhappiness of certain African countries in their dealings with CITES. “

  • Emmanuel Koro is an internat
RIGHT ON!!!
 

edward

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cities is now and has been controlled by the antis for years,long over do for a change to benefit the wild life and the people of africa.
 

edward

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This situation presents both an opportunity and a threat.

It is easy for those of us on an African hunting forum to want an African to be selected to head up CITES, but there are at least two reasons why this may not be a good idea, or may not be popular:

1. Africa is anything but uniform when it comes to the use of wildlife, be it sustainable or otherwise. One only has to look at the last CITES meetings to see that those African countries which are in favour of sustainable use are often attacked and outvoted by coalitions led by other African countries, notably, but not solely, Kenya or Botswana. There can be little doubt that some African countries have been 'captured' by animal rights activists, who have substantial resources (that means money) to deploy, whether properly or not, in their quest for CITES dominance, and that those countries are used to lead the charge against other African countries, to make the attacks seem more palatable to the West.

I can think of no worse outcome than to get a new Secretary-General who is African, thus lending a patina of African involvement to the process, while getting someone who is, or whose government is, in the pocket of radical animal rights groups. Then we would be facing the new cry - "well, CITES supports the ban and it's run by an African." Not good.

2. We look at CITES through our lens as African hunters. Much of what CITES does relates to flora and fauna outside of Africa. I'm not sure what the proportions are, but we can't assume that because we care about hunting African wildlife, that that should be on the top of the CITES agenda. Of the many resolutions put forward at the last CITES meeting in Jo'burg, most had nothing to do with African animals.

I have absolutely no doubt that the animal rights activists are getting their ducks in a row and will have a short list of people they would find acceptable. The key here - because this is a United Nations organization - will be to have countries pushing for the candidate you prefer. My fear - and I hope I'm wrong - is that the opponents of sustainable use have more countries on their side than we do. That means that organizations such as Conservation Force, the True Green Alliance and, yes, even SCI, should be looking at this situation and determining how best to help those countries whose agenda we would support, such as Namibia, or South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, among others.

I would not default to Africa though. I would default to someone who takes a sensible view of sustainable use, and of community involvement in CITES decisions. Those are the factors which will tilt the balance, not the place of origin of the new SG.
cities has never been run by an african,thats the problem.all the ngos are ruled by the antis money,told to always out vote the countries that want whats best for the wild life and the people,maybe an african will run the show as it should be run and tell the antis to go f...k themselves.
 

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Perhaps Ron Thomson or Ivan Carter will step up for this? Both have the background for it, whether they can do it is another question.
 

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Tom Hawk

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Antis are gonna freak... It’s gonna be terrific
Seriously Jerome? Any hoo so PETA was callin the Cites guy here’s that transcript
Secretary General: Hello PETA, this is the CITES Secretary General, go f*** yourselves
(Hangs Up)
 

Tom Hawk

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Touché, Jerome. You’re right. The last thing we need is this to become like Facebook or Twitter
 
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