Ivory Trade and Whaling Still at Issue at CITES

Plenary_2Hey Y'all -  J.C. Bouvier here...Hey the BBC is reporting that both Ivory trade and whaling are still at the forefront of the discussions being held this year at CITES in the Netherlands. 

In fact, even though Japan found a much stronger coalition of pro-conservation countries last week at the International Whaling Commission meeting in Achorage, AK (thanks in no small part to supporters like you) they still aren't getting the message...The Japanese delegation is trying to find a way to have CITES be the forum that allows Japan to trade whale meat!  Help whales out by continuing to send messages to those involved.  Visit StopWhaling.org now for more details...

UPDATE FROM CITES:

Lynn Levine and members of the IFAW team are on the ground in The Hague working dilligently to help IFAW's mission of making this a better world for animals and people.  She filed this report just a few moments ago...

Th_dutch_girls_speech6Today the Conference began with opening remarks and a statement by two Dutch girls who stood up in front of over 2000 people and voiced their support for the 20 year moratorium and saving the elephants. Quite remarkable. Attached are photos.

Around lunchtime, Peter Pueschel presented at the United Nations University presentation on the completion of the pilot phase of their Wildlife Enforcement Monitoring System (WEMS) which IFAW supported. This innovative system marks the first time ever where it will be possible to quantify the levels of illegal trade… We're hoping (and optimistic) that the CITES working group on enforcement will include this system in its deliberations, and propose the system for rollout to nations to assist them in fighting all transboundary crime.

Also at lunchtime was a one-sided panel of proponents of the Strategic Plan. Our very own Hemmo Muntingh provided a nice counterpoint to the propaganda, and Ron Orenstein of SSN (to which IFAW is a contributing member) spoke quite eloquently and respectfully in opposition.

We managed to set up interviews on today's events and issues with reporters of Reuters, Agence France Presse, Deutsche Presse Agenture and the BBC, and are eagerly awaiting the outcome.

Also attached are some images of this morning's plenary session.

Whew!

Lynn and team

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