Born Free USA Blog
Will Travers, Born Free USA's chief executive officer and president of the Species Survival Network, a coalition of 100 wildlife organizations, gives his closing address to participants of the 16th meeting of the Conference of Parties to CITES.
So far, discussions about elephants at the two-week CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting in Bangkok have centered around the current poaching crises hitting many African populations. It’s been announced, for example, that more than half of elephants’ deaths are due to poaching, and that poaching outpaces births.
Whereas earlier CITES news early this week about endangered shark species was promising, but not definitive, today's developments regarding heightened protections for dozens of tree species were all good. As Born Free USA Chief Executive Officer Will Travers explains, the protective measures were passed by consensus, which means no ratification is required.
Sharks are being slaughtered at a breathtaking clip — and with shocking disregard for their suffering or for the waste of the rest of their bodies — to satisfy a demand for shark fin soup. They're being wiped out so that people can have appetizers. Well, maybe something finally is being done about that on an international level. Today, protective measures for five shark species advanced at the CITES conference in Bangkok, with final action on those measures to be fully resolved by week's end. Watch our Will Travers' reaction to the shark developments.
In this six-minute video Born Free USA's chief executive officer, Will Travers, summarizes the first week of the 16th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Bangkok, Thailand. Among the week's big winners, Travers reports, are turtles! But much work remains for the assemblage of nations in the conference's second and final week.
at the Ethiopian wildlife center.
(Born Free Foundation photo)
CITES Parties today considered the delicate issue of the trade in cheetahs from Africa to the Middle East. Born Free strongly supported the document presented by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda, calling for an important study of legal and illegal trade in cheetahs.
In a blow to polar bears and a maddening display of capitulation to crass commercial interests, an assemblage of nations today declined to provide extra protection — i.e., Appendix I status — for polar bears. Will Travers expresses his disappointment in the vote at the Bangkok meeting of CITES, which soundly rejected a proposal to an animal who also is greatly imperiled by the impacts of climate change.
Will Travers, Born Free USA's chief executive officer, summarizes what many are seeing as an ominous start to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) meeting in Bangkok, with voting by secret ballots being given the green light and thus likely to continue to be abused and leading to a lack of transparency and accountability.