I know there are many people here who see a listing in CITES appendices as an end in itself. They don’t care about the consequences or the lack of efficacy or the inability of CITES to implement the listings properly. They don’t care if unimplementable listings turn honest trades into illegal ones. They care only about meeting their KPIs – their key performance indicators. That sad fact threatens our Convention sustainability.
Now forgive my very relevant digression.
The very first CITES logo was a replica of the mystical and iconic Noah’s Ark. It was considered that the Arc embodied CITES’ mission: saving wild species for the benefit of humans and wild creatures.
When CITES’ Ark sailed on her maiden voyage, humans and wild animals lived in perfect harmony, interacting in accordance with the laws of Nature… both benefiting from each other. Then came internal conflicts between humans – resulting mainly from one group of humans attempting to dominate others, often by force. That, in short, is how colonialism with all its horrors and inequities emerged.
But once freedom lovers solved this problem, another group of humans – known as the Saviors – arose on board the Ark. Convinced of their moral superiority – they decided to intervene, to abolish the harmony existing between humans and wild creatures who shared the limited space on the Ark. According to the cult of the Saviors, the use of wild animals by humans, for livelihoods and for food security, is unacceptable and morally wrong. So the Saviors gave birth to the second wave of Colonialism – Eco-colonialism. It’s a colonialism that imposes a sanctimonious ideology upon the developing world and which criminalizes cultures and traditions that it does not like.
The Saviors are bringing ever more wild animals onto the Ark, now so full that it is leaking water with the result that the Ark is sinking. Both Humans and Wild animals are suffering, “prohibited” from being able to benefit from each other.
As I was one of the first humans to embark in the ARK, I shall remain in it. I will remain onboard even if it is only for the purpose of providing advice and guidance to those wishing to ensure their survival and that of their wild resources, inside or outside the Ark.
Thank you Chair