Tuesday, November 02, 2010


From two recent articles.

There are a few organizations that are at least doing public awareness in China.
Wild Aid, for instance, has done a lot of using celebrities to do PSAs, urging celebrities such as Jackie Chan and Yao Ming, to do PSAs urging Chinese not to ... And IFAW also started a website. In fact, we feel that a lot of the education not to ... were done from outside into China—people trying to tell Chinese "what not to do" and "what to do," So we supported a group of Chinese conservationists and set up a website called "...." website and the website is developed by Chinese and speaking to Chinese in Chinese. The website has got the support of a lot of Chinese famous artists, famous writers and they write blogs on the website and urging Chinese consumers...

"There is little or no ground-level representation.
As a result, the real practical problems never get highlighted," he said. "There is no link between field workers and conservation leaders. They do not even know each other's problems and the conservation efforts are not co-ordinated. Kind of like the climate summit."

Sounds so very familiar, doesn't it - and yet, it is not about Sharks,!
Instead, it is about trying to protect the Tiger, without a doubt one of the most threatened and at the same time, most charismatic species on the planet. The first excerpt is from an article depicting the fight to try to curb the consumption of Tiger parts in China, the second from a piece about the upcoming Tiger Summit in St. Petersburg.

But protecting Tigers should be easy - right?
After all, the Tiger is the world's favorite animal, fully protected under Appendix I of CITES of which China is a signatory, and a centuries-old Chinese cultural icon featuring prominently in both Chinese Astrology and the Zodiac whereby 2010 is the Year of the Tiger.

Of course we all know the reality.
Despite of all the global goodwill and the decades-old fight by the conservationists, the situation has not improved and remains as grim as it gets: widespread habitat degradation coupled with poaching, mainly for the Chinese market have driven Tigers to the brink of extinction, to the point that probably less than 4,000 survive in the wild and already three subspecies have gone extinct.

The CITES recommendations are here (yes as always it's multi-faceted and complicated!) and here are those by one of the Tiger conservation orgs.
  • Habitat Protection, meaning the establishment of reserves under full involvement of the local stakeholders, plus captive breeding programs
  • Alternatives, meaning advocating alternative traditional Chinese medication
  • Law and Support, meaning enactment and better enforcement of local laws coupled with mitigation and long-term incentives for the affected local communities
Again: sound familiar?

Back to the Sharks.
They are neither loved nor protected, nor are they Chinese cultural icons - and I'll leave it at that, the more as I continue to repeat myself!

Hat tip: Eyemocean

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