Cocaine & Rhino Horns
Independent Films, Social Responsibility Movies, Politics
Big problem for wildlife and conservationists when rhino horn costs more per kilo than cocaine!
Global conservation experts concluded a United Nations-backed meeting in Geneva today with important decisions to protect a number of endangered species, including the launch of a trust fund to ensure the long-term survival of the African elephant population.
Several countries have already contributed to the multi-donor technical trust for the implementation of an African Elephant Action Plan, and more were encouraged to do so by the participants of the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
The antelope has the finest wool in the world, many times thinner than human hair, which is spun and made into luxury shawls which sell for thousands of dollars around the world. However, this means that poaching of the antelope had become a major threat to its survival.
At a press conference later in the day John Sellar, CITES’s Enforcement Officer gave the impressive figures. He said that at the beginning of the last century, there were 100,000 Tibetan antelopes; there were less than 30,000 a few years ago, and that thanks to the efforts of Chinese authorities in tackling poaching, working within the CITES convention the numbers were now up to between 60 and 70,000.
The picture was less rosy for the Rhino; Oystein Storkersen, head of the Norwegian directorate for Nature Management pointed out that the major challenge posed by rhino poaching and illegal trade was their horns. Storkersen said that a kilo of rhino horn now sold for almost half a million dollars. “If you’re caught with half a kilo of cocaine you’ll probably be sentenced to a few years. Being caught with a kilo of rhino horn, you’re likely to get away with a fine as it is.” Storkersen said.
Also briefing journalists CITES Secretary-General John Scanlon said that what was important for the international community to do was to rediscover “the here and now”. He stressed the need to keep looking into the future, “what are we going to do ten, twenty, thirty, fifty years out? If you look at the climate change debate, in 50 years you might have this impact on species if climate change takes effect. What about now? What’s happening now?” Scanlon stressed.
The CITES Standing Committee also launched a multi-donor technical trust for the implementation of an African Elephant Action Plan. The Plan aims at raising 100 million dollars over next three years to enhance law enforcement and secure the long term survival of African elephant populations.
A CITES report showed that 2010 had seen the highest levels of elephant poaching in eight years. Central Africa is the area of highest concern.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 2:00 mins
Country: United Nations
Cocaine & Rhino Horns by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV)
- Susan Sacirbey (UNTV)