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Australia announces it will close the domestic trade in ivory and rhino horn

In Geneva at the CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) convention of Parties, Australia announced that it would enact a domestic ban in ivory and rhino horn.

A campaign that began in early 2016 when ivory was found for sale by our Founding Director Donalea Patman on Chapel Street in Melbourne.

During the campaign, we found that many Australians thought it was already banned, in disbelief to discover how much is sold legally in antique stores, auction rooms and bric-a-brac shops.

For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW) hosted Australia’s first ivory and rhino horn crush in March 2018 in Melbourne, on World Wildlife Day, which triggered the Parliamentary Inquiry in Law Enforcement, with the report published late 2018 recommending a full trade ban.

We must thank Jason Wood MP who has been the driver of this through parliament as well as then Senator Lisa Singh for their passionate and committed work.

Our call for the modernisation of CITES.

Watching countries argue for the right to trade in baby elephants, from Africa to destinations like China and the US, is heartbreaking. We’re grateful that the agenda item was not successful but the continued push to increase trade is incredibly troubling. 

It takes a while to recover from attending something like CITES but without seeing it first hand, you really can’t imagine just how dire things are and how little progresses given the format of the system. CITES hasn’t evolved since it’s inception in the 70’s, with only one review and that was 25 years ago.

CITES is unfit for purpose and allows illegal wildlife to be easily laundered through the existing legal market. For the Love of Wildlife and Nature Needs More are pushing a proposal to modernise CITES in a three step process.
Read more here: https://natureneedsmore.org/three-steps-to-modernise-cites/

Working in collaboration with Lynn Johnson and Peter Lanius of Nature Needs More, we are making changes to the way endangered wildlife (yes, unbelievably) is traded and if it remains the same with many countries pushing for more and more trade, wildlife will be traded into extinction. Whilst we’d love a conservation based approach, it’s imperative that the basics are fixed immediately as wildlife doesn’t have the luxury of time to wait for a shift in mindset or consciousness.